Spitting Green

spitting green

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘I’m so angry I could spit!’ ?  I bet a llama owner said it first. In fact, there’s not a lot on Google about where the idiom came from, so I’ll go with my llama theory.

Llama’s seem to be notorious for spitting; it’s usually the first question I get when I tell people that I have llamas.  “But don’t they spit?”  Mal-tempered, misunderstood, badly handled, pushed-past-their-llimits llamas at zoos are probably responsible for this reputation. But when handled correctly, you shouldn’t be the recipient of well-aimed llama saliva.

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Radical LLama Red Blood Cells

red blood cells

Have you ever climbed up to a higher elevation and found it a bit harder to breathe?

Humans are made to live at sea-level where the air pressure allows you to breathe in oxygen efficiently (essentially 100% of the oxygen in the air is available to you).  At higher elevations, the oxygen is more spread out, making it difficult for your body to breathe in enough oxygen with each breath.  Humans begin to experience “mountain sickness,” characterized by dizziness, nausea, fatigue and shortness of breath, at about 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) above sea-level.

Llamas, and their relatives, regularly hang out at altitudes of 7,400-12,800.  This means their bodies are equipped to deal with extremely low available oxygen levels in the air.  Differences in their red blood cells (RBCs), among other adaptations, help them survive in the mountains.

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Peace in the Pasture

peace in the pasture

They held out the donkey protest a lot longer than I thought they would, those spoiled rotten, surly, teenaged llamas.  They stayed away from the barn for a solid 5 days. For the next few days they appeared like ghosts at feeding time, then took off once they had finished eating.  But gradually they inched their way closer.  Now, 18 days later, they begrudgingly allow Geronimo to get within a few feet of them while they graze.  We might finally be achieving peace in the pasture.

Or not.  Moe seeks his revenge on the llamas.  I’ve found the llamas cornered in the stall, the doorway blocked by a donkey, one too many times for it to be a coincidence.

IMG_5249

Power to the donkey.

Blogging my way from A to Z as part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge!  My theme for this year:  Llama mama.  P for Peace.

Obstacle Classes for LLamas

What do you do if you have a pack llama and want to show him?  Llama agility, of course.

Yes, you can enter the show ring and lead your llama through an obstacle course to demonstrate communication and trust between you and your llama.  Obstacles that you might encounter include bridges, ramps, stairs, water obstacles, etc.  You will also have to back your llama into a designated area and might have to load your llama into a van or trailer (can you say kush?).

Llama obstacle classes aren’t the same as the fast-paced, course-tearing runs you see in dog agility shows.  Llike all things llama, they are quiet, elegant events taken at the pace of a llama.

Have a llook:

Blogging my way from A to Z as part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge!  My theme for this year:  Llama mama.  O for Obstacle Classes.

Night-Night With Llamas

Looking for a fun bedtime book for your kids?  Then let a llama lead the way.

Anna Dewdney’s book, Llama, LLama, Red Pajama, is a fun, rhyming read that is sure to entertain your kids.  If your kids like this book, there is a whole series of Llama, Llama books that they can check out!

Blogging my way from A to Z as part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge!  My theme for this year:  Llama mama.  N for Night-Night.