Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Another elder has landed and my butt is sore

Keeping our commitment, we brought home the old llama, Lucy, who was the mother of little Button the one month cria we were also going to take. But Button died at a month old due to who knows what. The plan was to bring home the baby with Lucy so that Luna would have a suitable buddy, since we had to separate Arlo out until he is geldApifera. I had only seen one photo of her, back when she was pregnant with Button, and she had her winter coat. Even though I would not have chosen to breed her, I thought she looked pretty good in that old pic. When I first saw her at pick up, I felt she was thinner on the backbone and hip than I had imagined she'd be. She could be much worse, but...I hope to get more good weight on her. We will see. At a certain age, llamas can also develop teeth issues making grinding their food harder so they might be eating a lot of hay and grass, but it is not getting digested properly. I have her on supplement too.

ed. When Button died, we felt it was only the right thing to still bring Lucy to

Martyn and I got up at 5am to drive west the six hours to our destination to meet up with the hauler. It was not exactly a relaxed ride. I was not looking forward to another 12 hour round trip to pick up a Misfit, but I decided to make it fun and knew I'd get to see the White Mountains. I was raised to always be prepared on the road and prepare your route beforehand in detail, which I did, including knowing where tolls are and turn offs. I used regular maps and online maps. So about mid way through the trip, Martyn is looking at my maps as I drove and he says,

"This road does not exist."

Even though I had printed out the map and there it was right in front of us, it just was wrong, and our phone maps were showing another route, a very different route taking us further south in order to go north to the destination. So there we are in the middle of nowhere and I just sort of got this mini anxiety attack, imagining we would never get out of the mountains. All of a sudden the forest on both sides of us as we drove felt suffocating. I just wanted to be there and get the llama who was on a 6 hour drive in a cattle truck, complete with cattle. The temperature was lovely in mid coast but by the time we got to our pick up spot it was 90. No humidity thank goodness. We had been slated to meet the same driver two weeks ago, but it was the heatwave, and we just felt it was unfair to Lucy.

Anyway, we stopped to get gas and I went in and saw these two locals and told them about my map. They assured me that the way the phone map was telling us to go was right, not the map I'd pulled off the computer. They concurred that road did not exist.

We got in the car and I sang "We're on the road to nowhere...."

We did better on the way home but were irritable as the road signs were really pathetic and misleading, and we're not even morons. Martyn and I do not fight, but I can say that we were both getting grumpy. How we made it driving 6 days across the country and never getting into a fix I don't know. I was glad to get past all the "I'm-too'sexy-for-my-car-and-I'm-driving-90-to-get-to-my-beach-house crowd" in the Boston interchange. I am no wimp on the road but, Gad Zooks, what is wrong with people. We smirked as we saw the traffic going for miles to Boston and points south, back to back and we were causing along going east to Maine. I realized how I used to live in that sort of chaos. here was only one place I wanted to be, home.

To be honest, every time we stopped for gas, I was almost afraid to open the trailer door to check on Lucy. But she was fine.

We both decided that these 12 hour round trips are too much. We've been doing this since 2004. We used to drive up to the goat rescue and it was a 12 hour round trip too and it nearly killed us every time. I was fortunate to have some loyal followers at some point in the Seattle area and they would help us by meeting half way with old goats or even coming to Apifera. SO the next llama run...I think I will have to raise money for a haul.

Having said all that...if you told me there was a blind three legged pony that needing to be picked up 12 hours away...well....

Lucy is sweet. She is much calmer and more confidant than Luna. Not as herd bound. Luna meanwhile recognized Lucy, I do believe. Why wouldn't she? They lived together for some time and it has only been since April that Luna left the old farm. Arlo in the meantime is full of himself, and his testosterone. I dream of the day I can castrate. Meanwhile, I'm doing everything I can to train him and keep him learning that I'm the boss not him. He is living with Teapot and Teapot is still the boss, but there has been no drama. Eventually Arlo is slated to get a buddy.

I often talk to Birdie as I do cleanup near her gave in the equine area. I told her things are in flux. I told her I wish she were here. I recognize all this llama wrangling is not going to bring her back, nor are any of them going to be like Birdie. But I stand my mission-to bring old animals here for respite, and to share them with our elder friends. And I also stand by my continuing vision-to replenish our llama love room. The elder people LOVE the llamas, and if it takes some sweat and tears to get out llama love room hopping, so be it.