5.07.2007

Llama Salon

Yesterday was a big day for our little llama family--the annual shearing day. It was particularly challenging for Pepper, as it was her first ever haircut (not to mention first nail-trimming and first shot), and it couldn't be over quickly enough.

She's worn her halter before, but had never been on a lead. She simply couldn't understand why there was a strange rope (with a human at the end of it) attached to her head. This was most perplexing--and rather irritating. Then the strange man with the thing that went snip-snip-snip and buzzzzzz-buzzzzz...it really was a lot for seven-month-old llama to take.

Woolly Pepper before.

All in all she was a very, very good girl, considering all the strange new things that she experienced. ("Why is grandma in that funny chute? What is the man doing to her? Wait, why is my mom in there now? Oh, it's all SO confusing!")

Pepper was all too happy to race into the pasture with mom and grandma after her ordeal was over.

My mom took more pictures than I did; we took turns scooping up fleece into bags, holding llamas whose turn was coming up, trying to snap a photo here and there. My parents hadn't been around for last year's shearing as they were still down south, but since it was only Graty and Llannie then, things were a bit easier. (Mr. O'Kitten got some good shearing photos last spring.)

All the girls afterward.


You can tell how much Pepper has grown in this photo.

Her fleece is like angora feathers, and turned out not to be all white, but a sort of off-white/cream mixed with pure white. So pretty! I read somewhere that when you see "baby llama" fiber it refers to the micron count rather than the age of the animal, but this really is baby llama. Heavenly!

All the excitement made Pepper quite hungry.


Here's Graty with my mom after his haircut, all blowin' in the wind.

Graty, the big-boned Chilean macho-guy, always makes me laugh when he stands out in the pasture ogling the girls with his billowy mane blowing in the wind. I swear, he thinks he's Fabio, but with his silly llama grin he's really something else (as in--NOT the cover of a steamy romance novel. Then again, I'm not a female llama--what do I know?).

Llannie in the chute after he's been trimmed.

Llannie is still our cranky llama, and constantly groans and spits at Graty (even though he's about half Graty's size). He's neutered, so he's not the least bit interested in the girls, but remains extremely interested in whatever goes on in his pasture. For instance, he clucks most disapprovingly whenever Graty demonstrates too much interest in the females.

He also has the most beautiful fleece (probably because he's not all distracted by his hormones)--soft, silky, and a deep espresso brown to jet black. Of course, the fineness means that he picks up hay and vegetable matter as if he were made of velcro. He also carries himself with a haughty air as if he's fully aware that he's extremely handsome.

Graty and Llannie are like our Oscar and Felix--quite the odd couple, but completely inseparable. They love to go for walks together around the farm (no spitting then!) on their leads and are completely cooperative under these circumstances. (Perhaps they know their walking privileges might be revoked if they act badly?) I'm constantly amazed by their distinct and quirky personalities.

And yes, there will be fleece pictures coming soon!

13 comments:

Mouse said...

hee hee!! Llama haircuts! Pepper is getting HUGE! I can't wait to see the fleece shots..

roxtarchic said...

ok.. these are hysterical... i've got the llama song in my head & i'm singing SHAVE a llama.. hah!
it's just amazing all this cool stuff (i'm on the lookout for llamas in westchester now i'll have you know)! ;)

Dee said...

I didn't know they just got a trim around the middle.

Loved your blog post today. I can just picture Fabio (I mean Graty) out there beckoning alluringly to the ladies.

Chris said...

Aw, Graty and Llannies, BFF!

sunneshine said...

How fun!! I can't wait to see the fleece posts and see what you are going to do with the gorgeous fleece!

Ragnar said...

Sorry I sort of got distracted by the llama romance novel concept...I don't know enough about llama behavior to spoof a passage, and the fact that that disappoints me must mean that I'm a worse fiber-slut than I thought I was.

pins&needles said...

I love your animals. They're adorable! I didn't know that you just shave around the belly, but that is where the softest fleece is.

Plus, the chicks are too cute!

Obsidian Kitten said...

it is kind of a weird haircut--i think it makes them look a bit like big poodles.

last year llannie had to have the allover shave, as he'd gotten into some burrs and things and looked a lot like a very rumpled snuffaluffagus. but usually we just do the barrel cut.

people say it's best to leave at least the hair on the legs because of flies. and yes, a lot of the softest stuff is around the middle!

next year graty will probably have to give up his fabio look, since his chest fleece and "mane" are getting quite long, but he's very easy to brush so we decided to let him keep his fabulous long locks for one more year.

hopefully the serious trimming won't have the samson effect on him...lol

Gattina said...

What a wonderful good night story for me ! I just wanted to join my cats and take a little space in my bed ! Pepper looks quite strange to me now with her pretty fur gone around her belly ! They all look like poodles ! Fortunately you saved her tail and didn't cut it into a fluffy round ball ! It's amazing how big she became on these pictures I can see it ! Such a pitty that I couldn't be there would have loved to watch all this !
Arthur fortunately can go out again with a floppy tail hanging down and swinging which each step, lol ! I tell you with him locked inside we got both crazy !
I have got so funny comments on his tail tale (for Cats on Tuesday) that I had to laugh all afternoon. It became a worldwide event ! Only Bush's comment is still missing !
BTW just notice where are your cats for COT ? No time ?

Carrie K said...

Graty's MY Fabio. Hubba hubba!

Poor Pepper. But so cute!

So is the little chicklet.

Mom Unplugged said...

OK, I think I will add a few llamas to my golf course menagerie. They could stand handsomely and look like Fabio until the golfers came by, then they would spit at them, of course. The chickens might be a bit put out though. Hmm...

Jammies said...

What darlings! Thanks for sharing the pics.

(are you sure Graty didn't sneak off for extensions? ;) )

msfortuknit said...

thats so cool