Stenness' Diary 15-04-06
Hello everyone. That's me, Stenness in the picture on the right with my friend Caroline. A group of four llamas and four humans have just returned from a llama trek around the village. Some of us decided they would like some refreshment near the end of the walk so we visited the Temple Bar Inn and sat in the beer garden. We llamas all find it very interesting being in the garden as it's in the heart of the village and there are usually a lot of people about who are always very pleased to see us.
I thought I would tell you a little bit about what we are doing at the moment. The grass in our paddocks is beginning to grow nicely now and after a slow start to Spring, there is some tasty and lush grass about. Yesterday evening we had a bit of a treat when we were given some extra dandelion leaves. Apparently we can be quite useful in the garden as some of the tastiest plants are brambles, ground elder, dandelions and bindweed. Of course, it can be tricky for us to know the names of all these plants and we're not really meant to stroll through the vegetable garden nibbling anything we find as our people may want to keep their tender seedlings. We also help in the garden by providing good quantities of dung for the plants. Apparently our dung is unusual because it doesn't burn the plants and can be put straight onto the garden without needing to be composted.
Tomorrow my brother Brodgar (the grey llama on the right in the picture above) and I are going for a trip out in our trailer for another llama trek. I heard dark mutterings earlier that I was a bit overweight and that I needed the exercise.....
Stenness' Diary continued 16-04-06
As promised, Brodgar and I went out with our people for a llama trek. Early in the morning we realised there was lots of activity in the farmyard and the trailer was being hitched up to the car for our trip out. All ten of us walked up to the yard and entered our feeding pen where we were given a mouthful of a specialist llama feed. Then Brodgar and I put our heads in our halters and allowed ourselves to be groomed. We are quite used to being groomed, and don't mind. It's actually quite useful as it can be irritating if a bit of twig gets stuck under our packs.
The other eight all stood around chewing hay and watching as we walked smartly into the trailer. We were shut in and our people drove us off. I sat down immediately, but Brodgar has better balance than me and decided to stand for a while so he could see out of the window at the fields and hedges as they passed by.
After half an hour we stopped and were let out of the trailer with our halters on. The halters have ropes attached which our people can hold on to so they don't get lost. Today we wore some light woollen packs. These are brightly coloured and look great. The older boys carry larger packs with panniers attached, but we were only out for a training walk.
We were able to walk up a valley in the very beautiful Black Mountains . The path climbed up the valley and below us we could see a farm. Three horses in a field came running to see us. We know horses, but I expect they had never seen llamas before, and it was very nice to see them.
Quite a lot of people were out this morning and several parties of walkers greeted us as we walked along. I think the walkers were jealous that our people weren't carrying any rucksacks themselves. Brodgar and I were carrying the wet-weather gear together with their bottles of water, maps, cameras and refreshments. This left our people free to hold onto our ropes, because as I said, they would only get lost without us.
All too soon it was time for us to return to our trailer and go back to Old King Street Farm. It was nice to see the rest of the herd again and we ran into the field to greet them all.
One of us will be back in touch with you soon.