Llama Llama Ding Dong

Llamas are “in” – they have been for a couple of years.  Lots of llama t-shirts, mugs, posters, pins, rubber stamps – you name it, you can find it these days.  I even bought a little stuffed llama when I was in Peru; it seemed the thing to do.

YA came to me three weeks ago after finding a local llama “petting farm” in Waconia (she found it on TikTok).  For a fee (relatively small in my estimation), you could pet llamas, feed llamas and even take a trail walk with a llama.  With nothing else on our horizon, we figured why not. It’s apparently quite popular so it took a couple of weeks between contacting them and getting a reservation.  We headed out on Wednesday, the farm being about 30 minutes from our house.

First there was a “llama lesson” with interesting facts about llamas as well as how to tell a llama from an alpaca.  There was another mother/daughter scheduled during our time slot, but they had shown up early; YA and got the llama guy all to ourselves.  This was fabulous because I could indulge myself by asking as many questions as I wanted.  Usually when there are stranger involved, I hold back (go ahead, laugh).  We also brought a bag of baby carrots.  Some of the llamas thought this was wonderful, some of them didn’t.  My llama (Pacesetter) was extremely leery of the carrots, but YA’s llama (Mocha) couldn’t get enough. 

The trail walk was about 20 minutes – without the snow, it would be faster, but the llamas weren’t in a hurry and it was just the four of us (YA, me, Pacesetter and Mocha) so we didn’t have to worry about keeping up with anyone else (or hold anyone else back).   We were there altogether about 90 minutes and the llama guy said we should come back in early May when there are baby llamas (crias) for petting and photo ops.  We came right home and emailed them for that reservation!

When was the last time you visited a zoo/petting farm?

33 thoughts on “Llama Llama Ding Dong”

  1. How fun! it has been years since I was at an official petting zoo. I think the last farm I was on was our Native friends’ place last year when we petted their goats.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The last zoo trip was not quite a year ago. We had a French student staying with us for a few weeks (a short exchange program) and found out in the last week that she was here that she had never seen a live penguin and she loves penguins. Well, says I, we have penguins – let’s go! So off we went to the MN Zoo to see their penguins. We did walk around to see some of the other animals as well (mostly the outdoors ones – it was a lovely late February day), but mostly we were just there for the penguins. She was delighted. I was delighted (I love penguins, too). Husband was glad to do something that allowed him to feel less uneasy about not always understanding our student (because penguins! And sea otters! And bears and tigers oh my!). Our student declared the MN Zoo much nicer than the ones she had visited in France – both for the way the animal habitats were set up and because we have penguins.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. We have hosted through this program twice. Would do it again once we get through the virus nastiness. Our second student flew home just as everything around the world was closing up last March.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Rise and shine Baboons,

    I feel the last four years have been a zoo. Other than that it has been soooo many years. When my son was little we went to the petting zoo at the MN Zoo, and the goat crawled into my mom’s lap. We have a picture that has provided laughs through the years.

    OT—Last night people discussed the Bernie memes. Those are funny and I am enjoying them. My favorite is Bernie as the fly in Pence’s hair. They continue this morning and I love them all. I think this moment of national silliness is about letting go of all the tension of COVID, the inauguration, etc.

    Happy Birthday MPR.

    Liked by 7 people

        1. Alexa should say “Disgraced former president”. I feel sure when he dies that is how all the news stories and obituaries will begin.

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  4. Last time I was at a petting zoo was probably15+ years ago when I took my first Little Brother, Zach, to the Steele County Free Fair and we wandered among the animal barns. They had a small petting zoo and he partook for a few minutes. Baby animals are certainly cute but I don’t have a great desire to pet and cuddle them, especially zoo animals. If we could ever get a cat or two again, that would be most therapeutic, but my wife is allergic. 😦

    And yes, we’ve looked into getting a hypoallergenic cat. They’re incredibly expensive ($1000+), there’s a long waiting list in our area, and I don’t think we get to choose the cat ourselves. I think they’re allotted by who’s on the list and which cats are being bred at that time. In any case, my wife is hesitant because there’s no guarantee that SHE won’t react to a particular cat.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A neighbor was on a list like that and was able to visit the breeder’s home so they at least had a sense if there would be an allergic reaction to Mama and Papa (there wasn’t). They were willing to wait and wound up with a cat who is quite the character.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. OT: I’ve posted before about covid vaccination schedules. I recently read two lucid but lengthy explanations of what has happened with vaccinations in MN. Bottom line: things are going well, albeit not as briskly as expected. While nobody has lied or bungled, Federal coordination has been clumsy. MPR News and MinnPost have good summaries on the internet. My second shot happens in two weeks. Dr Fauci said yesterday he expects an America becoming something like normal by fall, although I wonder if he has reckoned with the number of folks who fear and resist vaccinations.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My mom gets her second shot in about two weeks as well. My brother has had his first (he is a designated caregiver for his mother-in-law, and her facility had enough doses to be able to offer it to caregivers). I am far enough down the lists at present that it might be awhile.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I have gotten blocked on Facebook by a friend with whom I tangled on the issue of who gets the vaccine first. MDH decided to vaccinate health care workers and nursing home residents first, then assisted living. Following that would be people over 75 and essential workers. What was not discussed frequently was the fact that essential workers are disproportionately people of color, who are also at high risk of serious illness, and that was the rationale behind prioritizing them. So my friend posted about having trouble getting her elderly mother vaccinated. And that was fine. But then she posted again, citing a MinnPost opinion piece in which a writer expressed the view that all the elderly people in the state should be vaccinated before the essential workers, which was the way they’re doing it in Alaska. This was around the time the federal government said the vaccine should immediately be opened up to those 65 and older. I weighed in on this, because I feel that people of color are now being put in line behind the older white people who are retired and have the option of staying home and isolating themselves, in a way that essential workers do not. It seems to me that we are going in the direction of white privilege, with people of color who are in jobs where they have no choice about exposing themselves are going to be the last to be offered vaccine. Still, it seems to be everyone demanding “ME FIRST”, although we keep hearing about vaccine hesitancy. I’m not seeing much hesitancy, just vaccine greed at this point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Linda. Being well over 65 myself, and having a couple of additional risk factors, I’m sure I’m next in line if I choose to be, but I, too, am questioning the wisdom of vaccinating older people regardless of other considerations. Obviously, there are people who are a lot more exposed to risk than I am, and who have little or not control over that. I’m perfectly willing to wait my turn.

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  6. The apple orchard we visited last fall was also something of a petting farm but it was too crowded for mid-Covid and we didn’t stick around.

    Ordinarily in the fall we would have gone on a farm tour of fiber farms—those raising animals for fiber—and visited sheep, alpaca, llamas, goats, yaks and the myriad other animals those farms keep, but the tours didn’t happen this year due to the pandemic.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was thinking about Robin when we were at the llama farm. They had yarn for sale in the little gift shop. And the llama guy told me that shearing the llamas for their wool/fiber is part of what makes money for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That sounds like fun, VS – will have to put that on the wish list.

    Last actual petting zoo was maybe when Joel was about 3, and we were visiting in my first home town, Storm Lake IA – a tiny one at my favorite park by the lake. Last regular zoo would have been Como Park when the grandkids from Calif. were little, so that’s been at least ten years…

    Last llamas would have been years ago at the State Fair, for the Llama Costume Contest. I have some photos … Linda was there, too.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Last zoo I visited was the National Zoo in DC in 2017. (Lucky Kelly goes to conference for work and sometimes we get to go along. I wonder if that will ever continue??)
    The place we’ve bought our Christmas Tree the last few years has some goats and — I’m not sure if it’s an Alpaca or Llama?

    No one has shared the Llama song yet??
    Ok. I will.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I love that you and YA adult enjoy doing such things together, VS. Looks like it was a fun excursion.

    I can’t recall the last time I went to a petting zoo, guess I get my need for petting furry beasts satisfied at home. Bernie is always willing, and Martha lets us know when she’s willing to tolerate us touching her. And, she most certainly lets us know when she’s not.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Our remaining cat, Luna, is reveling in being the only cat, and has become uber playful and demanding of pets. She pets us extravagantly too, with her tail whenever she gets a chance. She sure is happy.

      Liked by 5 people

  10. I have little experience with petting zoos. I have made the acquaintance of numerous llamas at the state fair though. They used to have them in stalls where you could commune with them easily, if the llamas were so inclined. Now they are kept in enclosures behind bars, which is probably more comfortable for the shyer llamas, but limits interaction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve come face to face with llamas only in the Copenhagen zoo, and they were as likely to spit at me as shy away. I’m rather ambivalent about interacting with them, and I don’t necessarily blame them.

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