Sunday, July 31, 2011

Laughing with the Llamas

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

Joann and I enjoy so many things about driving on the back roads of Wisconsin and other great places in this country. We laugh about a lot of things – mostly our silly jokes, puns, and memories, and our incessant teasing of each other.

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to come across some animals out in the pasture, and some of the cutest and funniest we come across are the llamas. Often what we find is a small farm with just a few llamas and sometimes there is only one llama.

Or two.

Then one night on the way home from a day of photographing, we came across a pasture full of llamas. We had never seen so many llamas, and stopped for a while to try and get some pictures and just to watch as they moved about. Joann watched through her camera lens, and I watched with my binoculars.

Since that first night of finding the llamas, we have returned several times. The next time we drove by specifically to see the llamas, the pasture appeared empty, and we thought they had sold all of the llamas or the farm had changed hands.

Then just last month at the end of our weekend trip to Iowa, we came past the same pasture again. As we passed the main part of the pasture where the llamas had been on our first stop, it was again empty. But as we drove further along the road, we found that there were several groups of llamas up close to the fence. We were tired, and it was getting late, but there were llamas!

Joann got out and grabbed her camera. She cautiously crossed the road, and the llamas stayed where they were, just checking her out. She inched closer and closer, stopping every now and then to take a couple of photos in case they bolted. Finally, she was right at the fence.

There was a little white llama that was very curious, but also very cautious. It wanted to see what was going on, but it wasn’t brave enough to come to the front to be the center of attention.

It just kept popping up in different spots to watch Joann.

There was also one with a spotted face and body, and a shear cut that made it look like a clown. That one was so cautious that it would never stand still long enough for Joann to get a picture.

This group of llamas is very well taken care of. They are sheared in different manners leaving them all very different looking. I wonder if the owners have them sheared based on their personalities.

As the llamas moved about, sometimes they would position themselves so they ended up looking like a pushmi-pullyu (pronounced “push-me—pull-you”), the mythical creature from the 1967 Dr. Dolittle movie. This animal had a llama head and front feet on each end, and each end wanted to lead.

The Llama
Ogden Nash

The one-L lama,
He's a priest.
The two-L llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-L lllama.

Take the backroads when you can and watch the pastures for a pushmi-pullyu!

Happy Shunpiking!


  1. Love the Llama report and photos - thanks so much for sharing your travel experiences as you meander the back roads!

  2. I have a good friend who used to live in Blair, WI and raised sheep - they bought a llama to guard the heard, and a more diligent & noble creature I have never seen - they are very serious about their job! Loved all your photos - but the one that was shaved like a clown and would barely hold still for a photo...can we really blame it??? : )
    thanks for the article!~