Rare Weather

Yesterday was one of those days that cannot be described or even photographed, only remembered. We had a minor ice storm during the day, which is common for us this time of year. The storm was over and sun was shining through oily black March clouds when I stepped outside to feed the llamas. But it was raining. Hard. Big drops making noisy splashes on the frozen ground. You could see the downpour through the sunshine, and the drops were huge! In fact, they were not rain drops at all. The sun was making the ice melt from the trees, and the meltwater and chuncks of ice were falling from the trees. To think that there was that much ice on the trees that it could continue to “rain” with that much intensity was a wonder.

I ventured out through the maple grove near our house and into the clearing by the pond. Just then, the sun shone through the forrest behind the pond at a late afternoon angle. The ice crusting the trees was so illuminated by the sun that I could barely look at it. The depth of the forrest was shown by receding layers of refracting light as though passing through every diamond ever cut and faceted by man. It was breathtaking.

As the sun continue to get lower in the sky, the effect continued to morph, and all afternoon was a wonder with displays of sparkling beauty and ever-present shower of meltwater and ice from the trees. An occasionaly loud crack could be heard when a weary limb of a old pine finally gave in to the weight of the ice, not able to wait until the melting caught up and relieved its heavy load.

The next day, we noticed once again how “the hill” seemed to be singled out for this ice event. North of home, where we work, and south of home, where we went out to dinner, the ice was completely gone and forgotten. On our hill, however, the ground and roads were still strewn with ice chunks and the trees still carried a shimmering rind of ice, even late the next afternoon. Whether this was due to the elevation difference or the depth of the surrounding woodlands, we don’t know. But we do seem to have a micro climate on the hill that occasionally gives us spectacular weather events not shared even by our nearby friends and neighbors.

laura

Spring in February

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Electric Skies

Laura and I awoke this morning to the sights and sounds of Spring.  We were experiencing our first  thunderstorm of the year, during the first week of February!  After I had dressed for my morning trek to the barn, I glanced at the weather station and was surprised to see that the temperature was nearly 70 degrees.  No need for the heavy parka this morning.

As I walked to the barn the warm and humid air reminded me of a late April morning instead of early February.  Unfortunately, our short excursion into Spring is only a tease.  The temperaure is supposed to drop into the upper 30’s tonight and the weather forecast includes a chance of snow for  Wednesday.  At least the brief respite into Spring is bringing much needed rain to fill our pond.  Unfortunately the thaw and rain will also expand the boot sucking mud flats around our barn.

Fred

Llamacam “One” replacement operational

latest17.jpgWell I finally managed to install the replacement for our original llamacam “one” which failed a couple of weeks back. I had been testing the new camera and software for a few days and expected the installation to be easy. Of course I guessed wrong. I carefully mounted the new camera to the ceiling of barn porch which we call the “beach” because the llamas are always lounging there soaking up the mid-day sunshine. I carefully routed the wires and connected the power. The camera powered up and the network link light lit up as I plugged in the network cable. Success, I thought as I headed into the house expecting to see a sharp image of the “beach”.

I fired up my MacBook, typed the camera IP address into my web browser and hit return. No response! After an hour of trouble shooting I finally discovered a bad network connection on the back of the camera. I did a little cleaning and adjustment of the cable and the camera sprang to life. I was pleased to see the image was much sharper than the original camera.

I hope all of the frequent visitors to llamacam enjoy the new camera. Be sure and let us know what you think.

Fred

Hard Sell

As I time goes by, it gets harder and harder for me to sell a llama. This is a quandary, since we have decided we need to reduce our herd in order to allow us to do some genuine traveling in the next few years (something other than llama shows, weddings and funerals.)

I have a beautiful cria born this fall who might be a good show prospect. His fiber is to die for, and the color of light caramel or clover honey and cream. It is very close to the color of our wonderful llama, Tia Juanita. I covet her fiber which gets used or sold every year. This little boy has much finer fiber, and is liable to remain here in the “fiber herd” that I am building in my mind for the future. He also reminds me of Tia’s first baby, a beautiful little boy who we sold, and who I will always miss. The fact that this little guy lets me pick up his feet and is nearly halter broken at only three months of age is also a plus. I know if we show him and someone makes us an offer, he needs to find a nice home where he can hopefully pass on his wonderful genetics. But I can see this will be hard, both emotionally and practically. Unless we make it to some more shows than we have recently, the problem may not come up. (Is this a self-fulfilling prophesy?)

I am reminded of our visit many, many years ago to Llama Woods in Oregon. We had heard a rumor that if Iris Christ did not like you, then she would not sell you a llama. I suppose I am like that too, maybe more so now than ever. I have become more protective of my charges over the years. Of course, Iris could afford to keep every llama if she wanted to. And her llamas were in such demand at that time that she could afford to be choosey.

bichon-frise1.jpgWe arrived at Llama Woods with another couple who were our friends and llama-mentors. Most of our time that first day was spent with Pam, Iris’s long time friend and farm manager. While the visit and the day was all that we could have imagined, I remember the chilly reception given us by Iris’s dogs, two Bichons Frises. Despite their perfectly quaffed pom-pom apearance, they took very seriously their guardianship of the castle. Underneath all the white puff, they were sturdy little dogs. They barked and yipped and acted for all the world like they could make quick hamburger out of our ankles. I did not feel all too comfortable near the house and yard that served as the office. I was happier out in the llama pastures where the llamas were much less judgmental. I couldn’t help but hope that Iris did not use her dogs to divine for her whether to sell to someone or not.

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LW Captain Curry

The second day, we had begun to negotiate the purchase of one of Iris’s males, a Willie K son named Captain Curry. Our friends were also interested in a couple of llamas, including a future herd sire. We had entered into the realm of serious buyers now, not just sight-seers who were not destined to be worth the time that was spent on them. We had lunch with Iris and her husband Don on their patio at the farm. While at our home, our silverware saved for holidays is simply our good stainless, it was not surprising that this Vanderbilt heiress served our casual, home-made lunch on gold-plated dinnerware. Their house, however, was a typical ranch-style home on the outside, nothing very pretentious. I think the house and the older farm house/office may have been on the property when they purchased it. While I did not go in the house, a glance through the back door confirmed that inside it was impeccably decorated. Perhaps done personally by Martha Stewart herself, I thought. After lunch, our friend, who was much higher on the llama social ladder than we, was invited inside to see some of Iris’s art collection. We remained on the patio enjoying the warm Oregon spring day, wonderfully devoid of the humidity that plagues our home in Indiana. The whole time we ate and conversed with our hosts, their Bichons were alternating between begging for their owner’s attention, and stealthily sniffing our feet and ankles. At first I was worried a sudden move would illicit an attack, but the dogs minded their manners. Perhaps they were taking cues from their masters that we were to be treated as guests, since we were dining with them. By the end of lunch the dogs were a little less concerned with our presence and I felt a little more relaxed around them.

On our third day, we returned with our decisions on which llamas to purchase. Today, the Bichons seemed genuinely happy to greet us at the office door. No doubt they remembered us from lunch the day before. I recall sitting on the large overstuffed couch in the office waiting area, which was once the large family room in this remodeled farmhouse. My husband and I were finalizing travel plans for our new herd sire, and going over paperwork and the purchase contract. The year was 1995, and the price for a fine llama, especially one bred and owned by Llama Woods, seemed nearly astronomical. This was a huge investment for us. I remember sitting on the couch, writing out the check with an awful lot of zeros in it. The Bichons were happily sitting next to us, asking for attention and enjoying the excitment. They now accepted us and were our trusted buddies. What a difference from two days ago! I am sure we smelled the same, whether that was good or bad from a dog’s point of view, I don’t know. But they certainly knew us now and included us in their circle of trust. Apparently, Iris felt the same, as she not only consented to the purchase of our beloved Captain Curry, but also suggested a female to go with him. I have often wondered if the dogs accepted us because Iris had, or if it was the other way around. Or did they respond especially to that “check writing moment?” I’ll never know, but the visit and the critical acclaim of those two dogs will always remain in my memory. Perhaps I need to get a Bichon Frise to help me determine who should purchase one of my llamas!

—laura

A Replacement for Llamacam “One” Coming Soon

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Toshiba NetCam (Llamacam #1)

Well I have finally decided on a replacement for the failed Llamacam “One”.  I have decided to install a Toshiba Netcamera to replace our original Llamacam system.  I am doing preliminary setup and testing of the new camera.  I will probably not be able to install it until next weekend since because of my real job, I don’t have much time in the evenings to work in the barn.

The new camera should provide a sharper image and provide better low light viewing.  I will also be able to point the camera across the network so I will be able to avoid trips to the barn to re-position the camera after the llamas have gotten into a pushing matches over the best cushing spot on the porch!

The Mystery of the Flickering Lights and a Solution

Over the past two weeks we have been trying to determine the cause of an electrical voltage fluctuation in our main barn. When we were working in the barn the lights would flicker–sometimes once every minute or two and other times every 15-20 minutes. We obviously had something causing voltage fluctuations. These voltages fluctuations probably caused the failure of Llamacam One and were causing a number of stability issues for the remaining cameras. I knew the problem was not being caused by REMC because our other barn (which is fed from the same meter) was not experiencing the problem. My biggest concern was a problem with the underground cable connecting our two barns. If this cable failed, locating and fixing the problem would involve a backhoe and the challenging task of avoiding a rat’s nest of stuff buried around our barns (water, electric and telephone lines). Just the thought of digging near all that mess was keeping me awake at night.

On Thursday evening while Laura was working in the main barn all of the power went off. She flipped the light switch on and off few times and miraculously the power came back on, but continued to flicker every few minutes.

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Load Center in Barn

Armed with this latest clue, I went to the barn on Saturday morning hoping to track down the cause of the problem. When I entered the barn and flipped on the main lights but they didn’t come on. I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as the thought of a total loss of power to the barn was not something I was prepared to deal with in the sub-freezing weather. I checked the automatic waterers and was surprised that none of them were frozen. In fact the water felt warm compared to the frigid air. Hmmm, they still had power. I went back into the barn and started flipping other light switches and behold about half of the lights came on. Whatever the problem was, it was only affecting one leg of the 220V feeding the barn. At this point I should have grabbed my voltmeter and done additional sleuthing to locate where the the circuit was being lost. But I didn’t. I flipped the main breaker on and off and suddenly all of the lights came on. Ah, problem fixed. It must be a bad main breaker. After a trip to Lowes and Menard’s I was armed with the parts to fix the problem.

I turned all of the power off to the barn and proceeded to replace the main breaker. In about an hour I had the new breaker installed. I flipped the switch and success. The power was back on and not flickering. Problem solved–I thought!.

Sunday morning I got up and started the morning coffee. As is my normal habit, I went to my computer to check the barn cameras to make sure all of the llamas were still tucked in bed. The cameras were all dead. I walked to the barn thinking I needed to reset the router. When I walked into the barn I discovered the barn had lost power again. I played all of the same tricks and after several tries of flipping lights and breakers on and off, the power came back on. This was not a good sign. Obviously, the cause of the problem was not the main breaker. Of course, I now own a good spare!

I went back to the house and grabbed my trusty voltmeter with a mission to figure out where the one leg of power was being lost. I opened up the load center that feeds both barns and checked the voltage on each leg of the 100 amp breaker which feeds the main barn. Both legs were hot! There was no doubt the underground cable must be failing. I walked back to the main barn to give Laura the bad news and was surprised to find all of the lights in the main barn on. Hmmm, there was at least a glimmer of hope that the cable had not failed.

The only thing left to check was the 100 amp breaker which feeds the underground cable for the main barn. I shutdown all the power and removed the 100 amp breaker. When I flipped it over to examine the terminals that connect it to the power center I saw the culprit. One set of the terminals were badly corroded and not making good connection to the load center bus. I installed a new100 amp breaker, which by luck I had purchased the day before. I flipped everything back on and walked back to the main barn to see if that had really solved the problem. Everything was working normally. I mumbled something about success very quietly to avoid appearing too optimistic. I plugged in the Uninterruptible Power Supply that I use to power the networking gear and it sat silently. Before, it was constantly chirping a warning tone because it was able to detect the slight variations in voltage that were being caused by the poor connection. This morning during my routine trip to the barn, everything was still normal. Perhaps the mystery of the flickering lights has been solved.

Fred

Another Hughes Net Update

It has been nearly two weeks since our Hughes Net system was installed and I am still pleased with the service.   The speed has been close to the advertised speed and there has been almost no downtime due to weather–eventhough we have had two significant snow falls since it was installed. 

It is really a pleasure to actually be able to download a 30 to 50mB file or a video in only a few minutes.  With our prior ISDN system the downloads of this size would have taken an hour or more so we avoided videos becasue they just weren’t worth the wait. 

If your moving from dial-up to Hughes Net I believe you should be very pleased with the speed–assuming you get a good installer.  If you have recently moved to the country from an urban area where you had cable internet or DSL you will probably not be as pleased with the speed. Your choice may come down to waiting for DSL, Cable or maybe WiMax or going ahead and moving to satellite where you can get speeds 15-20X faster  than dial-up while your waiting for the infrastructure to improve in your area.  I wouldn’t trust the cable and DSL providers on promise dates because most have a long history of being overly optimistic by multiple years!

If my experience with the system changes I’ll be sure to post my negative experiences. But as of today–so far, so good.

Fred

Llamacam “One” Rest in Peace

After being in continuous operation for nearly 10 years, our first llamacam died after a power surge last Sunday.  Llamacam “One” was used to keep track of the llamas on the barn porch. 

I have a soft spot in my heart for Llamacam “One” because I had built it myself from an old computer, a broken camcorder and pieces of string, bubble gum and other odds and ends.  It faithfully served us for 10 years under very extreme conditions.  Llamacam One was the camera which was featured on TechTv, the Discovery Channel, Indianapolis Magazine and our local CBS TV station. 

Hopefully I will figure out a replacement option this weekend.  I’ll will try to get a new camera in operation within the next couple of weeks, because I realize there are hundreds of visitors each day that will miss seeing the antics of the llamas and their keepers as they go about their daily routine!  Of course you can still tune in and see the llamas on the other 4 cameras which are still fully operational.

Llamacam One Rest in Peace.

Fred

Update on our move to Hughes Net Internet

Unfortunately our installation was delayed by bad weather , but we finally got the new Hughes Net System installed last Saturday.  After the installation was completed I had to re-configure our router and the rest of our farm network.  Our farm network is fairly complex because of wireless links between our barns and the house (spaning more than a quarter mile), which are used to feed security camera video to the house and the webcam images to our website.  Those of you that watch the llamacam have probably noticed that the cameras have been up and down a few times over the past week as I’ve been trying to work out a few kinks in the network.  We have also been plagued with a number of hardware failures that have taken the cameras down.  Hopefully, I can get most of these issues resolved this weekend if the weather cooperates.

So far I have been pleased with the speed and stability of the HughesNet Satellite internet.  It has been operational for about six days.  I have only had two brief outages of about 5 minutes each, caused by heavy snow and some ice build up on the dish.  Since we still have our ISDN line, our new router can detect the outage and outomatically switch to the ISDN line if the satellite feed is interupted.

I am getting download speeds of between 1200 and 1500 kbs (kilobits per second) and updload speeds of 500-600 kbs.  These speed are about 10 times faster than our ISDN connection.  It is certainly nice to be able to click on a video on CNN or YouTube and not have to wait 45 minutes for it to download.  In most cases streaming video starts within a few seconds and the download feed stays ahead of the playback.  I’ll keep you posted if my satisfaction changes. 

According to our installers, the key to sucess is the quality of the installation.  Our installers were fantastic and took considerable care in locating the dish and making sure it was securely mounted and properly aimed. 

Fred  😛

Eric Sloane’s An Age of Barns

[amtap book:isbn=0896585654]This is a re-issue of Sloane’s classic folksy history of barn folklore, architecture, and history, which has been out of print for twenty years. “Eric Sloane’s An Age of Barns” is filled with fabulous black-and-white illustrations from this great American artist. Covering all types of American and Canadian barns and everything associated with them-implements and tools, hex signs, silos, out buildings, hinges, barn raising, and more-“Eric Sloane’s An Age of Barns” is a spectacular album tribute to this important facet of our architecture and agriculture. This book is sure to once again become a collector’s item.

The Camelid Companion

[amtap book:isbn=0970991606]The definitive guide to handling, training, and managing llamas and alpacas.
Learn to be the kind of person a camelid loves to be around and still get your management job done safely and efficiently.

If you already have Marty’s first book, Llama Handling and Training the TTEAM Approach,referred to by many as the “Training Bible” then you will surely want to get the new testament! This is not a revision but a totally new book. Chock full of new techniques that Marty has developed over the last 10 years you will find this book absolutely indispensable as well as lots of fun to read.

Medicine and Surgery of South American Camelids

[amtap book:isbn=0813803977]The finest of the few books on medical care of South American camelids-and the only comprehensive account of the subject-this volume appears here in a new edition expanded to include new topics and some reference to Old World camels, along with llamas, alpacas, vicunas, and guanacos.

18 Guidelines for raising healthy and safe llamas

The following article by Paige McGrath was written in 1996. However, as I re-read it this morning from a perspective of 15 years raising llamas I have to admit that when I first read the article I did not appreciate the wisdom and experience that Paige had wrapped up in this short set of guidelines. Thank you Paige.

About the Author

Paige McGrath has bred llamas at Lower Sherwood Farm in Charlottesville, VA since 1986. She is the publisher of Llama Life II, and contributes to the lama show world by providing the Virginia Classic Llama and Alpaca Show each spring. Email Paige or visit her website for more info!

Originally published in Llama Life II, Fall 1996 – Issue #39

We relinquish copyright protection on the following for the purpose of allowing those, who do not have their own written standards and who sell to those who have little understanding of camelid care, a comparatively concise outline that may be reproduced and distributed or given to new owners. The byline may be removed and additions, modifications and alterations to suit individual circumstances may be made.

1. Don’t buy babies younger than 4 or 5 months

Unweaned crias (baby llamas) are not suitable pets. If you have inadvertently obtained one, bottle feed it 20 percent of its weight daily with plain homogenized Vitamin D milk (reinforced with nutrients if it doesn’t gain daily) and don’t cuddle it. Offer it a coarse sweet feed and free choice quality hay at an early age. It will start to nibble when it is ready. Naturally raised crias, not normally weaned until six months, should gain a half to a full pound daily. Provide it with another animal for company – preferably a llama – but keep physical human contact to a minimum. An adult llama bonded to a human from near-birth without proper herd socialization can be a danger when the animal treats the human as another llama. Seek information from knowledgeable reputable breeders or veterinarians. A reputable breeder will not sell you a cria under four or five months of age.

2. Llamas left haltered are in peril

Because many owners don’t train their animals to haltering, or provide a catch pen or stall for doing so, they leave the halters on all the time. This results in abscesses, ulcers, unsightly calluses….and, if the halter is caught on something, a broken neck. And because haltering has not been mastered, some owners leave the SAME halter on a growing animal. Some have been found with the flesh growing around the noseband or with malformation of the nasal passages.
Continue reading

Preparing fleeces for the wool mill

The following article written by Jenny Deters was written several years ago when there was an active llama wool pool in Indiana. The wool pool no longer exists, but these guidelines are still valuable to those preparing your own fiber to be sent to a mill.

About the Author

Jenny Deters has bred llamas at Deter’s Hickory Hollow Llamas in Evansville, IN since 1988. She has been active with fiber arts and spinning for several years, creating many handmade items from luxury fibers such as llama. She established and operated the Midwest Wool Pool from 1997 to 1999, holding fiber seminars and training others to carry on the wool pool’s fine tradition. She is also a certified ALSA fleece judge.

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Llama Fleece Areas

I am not going to start exactly from the beginning on getting your fleeces ready for shipment to the wool pool, but I will say that the cleaner you keep your llamas through the winter, by good pasture management and feeding practices, the less work you will need to do in grooming your llamas before shearing. I will explain how we prepare our llamas at shearing time.
We use a chute, because we’ll also trim nails and do routine wormings at this time. Since most of our llamas have been sheared before, in one style or another, the blanket area is easy to groom, with a quick once over with the brush and then the blower to remove a majority of the dust. For those who haven’t been sheared, we’ll blow first, to hopefully remove some of the debris, then we’ll brush (two of us – one on each side) for a few minutes, then use the blower to get out the loose debris. If you simply can’t remove most of the debris this way, then the fleece may be too dirty to consider for the pool. (We do not expect perfectly clean fleeces, but the mill can’t process out all the debris and we do want yarns that can sell.) I’d like to add here, that we shear all our llamas, including the spring babies. Yep; even 2-3 months old.To shear, we use small electric clippers. We did use scissors for several years, but with a large number of llamas to shear, the electric clippers are faster. Some people use sheep shears – although we did have the large ones, we feel the chute to be too close quarters for the shears to be safe from cutting the llama, so we sold ours (we used to have angora goats.) Use whatever is comfortable.If on concrete, make sure the area is swept and clean. If on dirt, gravel, sand or whatever, put down a tarp or make sure the fleece doesn’t touch the ground. Keep the fleece clean. Sort out as you go by either shearing and removing the blanket area first (this is the best fiber) or shirt off the belly fiber as you go. The belly fiber is courser than the blanket – it is scratchy and definitely not sweater quality – don’t send this to the pool. As for the neck and leg portions, it depends on the llama as to the quality, so put this is a separate bag if you decide to send it, but remember it needs to be over 3″ long.

Fleeces that will not be accepted are: Fiber that is matted and can’t be easily pulled apart, fiber too short – the down, which are the finer hairs, needs to be at least 3″ long, fiber too long – do not send anything over 10″, preference is 6″, and fiber that contains rocks, pine cones, burrs, lice, moths or mold – don’t send.

Also for the ’99 shipment we ask that each of your fleeces be packaged separately. This can also be done by putting each fleece in its own plastic bag. (Please make sure the fleeces are dry before shipping or they will mold, therefore becoming worthless.) The length is very important, because if it is too long, say over 10″, the fiber will damage the mill’s equipment and if it is too short, the fiber will clump on the drums, keeping the yarns from being smooth and consistent.

We all want high quality yarns, but for the most part, it is the guard hair that keeps it from being the high quality. If you want to spend the time to get the high quality, you can pull out the guard hairs by hand (as of now, there aren’t any mills in the U.S. that can dehair our small amounts at a reasonable rate.) Our blends did improve the quality of the yarns, but the biggest drawback is the cost of these fine fibers. Eveyone seemed quite happy with the blends, so we will probably purchase them again in the ’99 pool.

What the future of our pool holds, we don’t know. Frankly, it is up to you. You could have items made with the fiber such as blankets, fabric, scarves, comforters, etc. But keep in mind, at this point we are only volunteers and we’d need to hire someone to handle the financial aspects of this type of endeavor. Our goal is to combine with the other pools in the U.S. to increase our poundage, someday tonage and we hope for an eventual Co-op, where our fiber can be sold. It all takes time, patience, and participation, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Be part of that start!

Yellow Wood enters the high speed internet world–sorta

Today is a big day for the internet activities at Yellow Wood Llamas. We have been on the web since 1994 having registered one of the first 100,000 domain names on the internet. However, because of our rural location, low population density and the rough terrain in our area none of the big providers have been willing to invest to bring DSL or digital cable to our area. Therefore we have been limited to using ISDN, an older technology that is about twice dial up speed.

hughesnet_dish-sm.jpgAfter hearing promise after promise from Comcast for four years (they even sold me high speed internet once but couldn’t provide the service) we have broken down and signed up with Hughes Net. Hughes net will not be able to match DSL or cable for speed, but it should be five to ten times faster than our ISDN connection. The equipment is supposed to be installed today, so I should be able to provide reports on our experience over the next few weeks, for those that are in a similar situation.

My Dad would have been a blogger

As I was rummaging around in the basement this weekend my eyes were drawn to one of the many bookcases. I zeroed in on two shelves that were holding items of significant sentimental value. Collected on those two shelves were diaries and journals that covered nearly 30 years of my dad’s life. The first diary on the shelf was for 1945. The last diary was for 1981. My dad had made a number of attempts to write a daily diary prior to 1945 but each time the entries ended after a few weeks. In 1945 while overseas with the Army Air Corp he finally was able to hit his stride and make nearly daily entries albeit many no more than a sentence or two.

After he returned home the responsibilities of supporting and raising a family seemed to prevent him from staying with his diary until 1959 when he restarted his daily chronicles. This time he made entries nearly every day until he lost his battle with cancer in 1981.

My Dad wrote of everyday living and current events and strayed away from much of the personal information many put in their “dear diaries”. As I read through a few of these diaries I realize that my Dad would have been one of the first too have jumped into the blogging world. He had the 60’s analog of a blog in the mid-60s when he wrote two weekly newspaper columns for the Franklin, IN newspaper–one on flying and one on camping.

I count myself very fortunate that my dad took the time to chronicle so many years of his and my life in his personal journals and diaries. We can only hope that our own ramblings will pass the test of time like my Dad’s paper blogs.

Fred

Grooming

Llamas benefit from regular, short grooming sessions to remove debris and dead wool. If wool is allowed to matte, air circulation is hindered, and the llama is more susceptible to heat stress. This is true of short and long wooled llamas, although the long-wooled varieties will naturally have more of a problem. Regular sessions desensitize and train your llama, and also make it better prepared for final grooming required for show preparation. Long sessions of monotonous, often painful hair-pulling should be avoided. Start grooming your llama well before show season, and keep it reasonably groomed with regular attention.

There are probably as many different grooming tools and preparations as there are llama owners. The types of tools you will need to groom your llama will depend on the character of your llamas wool. A good source of grooming supplies is Quality Llama Products

Welcome to our new Yellow Wood Llamas Website

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I have been re-doing our website over the past several weeks. It was long overdue for an overhaul. The new site is using the WordPress blog engine as a content management system. This approach will enable us to add new features to the Yellow Wood Llamas website and will enable Laura and I to do a better job of keeping the content fresh. This change is likely to break links to some of the older pages on our old site. If you find something missing that you would like to see added to the new site, please drop me an email Fred. Also, your comments on the new site are also welcomed.

Winter has Returned

Yesterday was a beautiful day with sunny skies and temperatures over 50 degrees.  I spent most of the day working outside and enjoying the wonderful weather.  After dark the winds picked up and we experienced a rapid change in our weather.  When I got up to make our morning coffee the temperature was hovering around 18 degrees F.  By mid-day it had only warmed to the mid-20’s and is now 21F and dropping.  As we were enjoying our warm oatmeal breakfast Laura remarked that “at least it is not snowing”.  That changed a few hours ago and we now have snow falling with over an inch already on the ground.

Fred