While Don’s sister Debbie was here for a visit last weekend, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood. We saw llamas:

And sheep:

And cows:

And horses, and goats, and chickens…

We were footloose and fancy-free until we showed up at our second herd of llamas. This llama was very unhappy with our arrival and made sure to tell us by growling and showing us his teeth. I had never seen this behavior before:
 

I’m sure it had everything to do with this:

We got really worried when we saw this though:

Our friend Danni at Critter Farm once warned us what happens when a llama pins its ears back. It’s not meant to be pretty.

Since we weren’t sure after the fact that we interpreted the llama drama correctly, I consulted with Danni. Here’s what she wrote back:

Ok, here’s what I can tell you about this photo.  One llama has ears upright and forward facing…a sign of being interested, curious, and not at all on the defensive.  The second llama with the ears flat is concerned about something, but isn’t yet ready to spit.  Generally, there are two phases to spitting and there are definite warning signs:  1) the ears go back and 2) the head goes up.  Most llamas really do try to threaten or warn their adversaries that they are about to make a serious move prior to spitting.  I don’t think this guy was quite yet ready to spew.  For one thing, it’s quite a commitment. It is smelly, nasty stuff that comes out of their mouths.  Once they spit, they generally have to stand around for a while, jaws hanging open, trying to air their mouths out.  🙂

Daddy llama was simply doing a very good job of protecting his baby:

While at the same time being very courteous by withholding his spit:

Thanks for keeping your head down, Baby Daddy. 

And thanks for educating us, Danni. ♥

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Momma and Baby Boy are American Blackbelly sheep. Most people raise American Blackbellies for their meat.

They are hair sheep as opposed to wool sheep. They grow a winter coat that they shed on their own in the spring and summer. 

Oh, how I wish I could brush Baby Boy!

While Baby Boy and Momma will now come to me and will even eat from my hand, brushing them is completely out of the question.

The simple act of “catching”, restraining, and brushing them would set them back months, I’m sure.

For now, I’ll settle on sneaking handfuls of hair from Momma and Baby Boy when they’re not looking.

And, if you’re wondering, mutton is not going to be on the Morning Bray Farm menu. Ever. ♥

When she came to Morning Bray Farm almost four years ago, Momma was completely feral.

Finally, last week… Momma took something from my hand for the first time.

How did I never notice that Momma’s and Baby Boy’s tongues are black?

What a monumental moment. I was quiet outside, but inside, I was screaming and jumping up and down.

Momma is so beautiful.

Finally… Momma!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

March 2011

A rare, quiet moment for Meggie Moo:

A tender moment between Momma and Baby Boy:

Ellsworth being an incredible big brother and officially welcoming Patrick into the herd:

A hug from Fergus. I will always cherish this photo:

The simple joy of taking Bernard for a walk around the block:

April 2011

Kassie watching squirrel television:

Patrick learning how to be a donkey and giving his very first hug:

Welcoming the ducklings to the farm:

May 2011

Donkeys and ducklings meeting for the first time:

Whisky romping in the Rio Grande:

The ducklings loving the lawn sprinklers:

One of our many donkey play dates. Oh, how we love our play dates:

Remember if you click on any of the photos, you’ll be taken to the original blog posts.

The other day, Baby Boy was determined to tell me there was a dove in his water tub.

Momma was mortified that a bird was bathing in her water. Aren’t her teeth cute? ♥

Don and I often talk about the magical and unexpected moments we experience at Morning Bray Farm. They seem to happen a whole lot here.  

Take Baby Boy, for instance. He’s gotten to the point now where he follows me around the corral and pasture… his nose to my rear. Momma is frequently not far behind these days. That’s magical, considering they were feral when they came to us a year and a half ago. I love them and they make me smile.

Check out Gladys. After laying a dozen or so eggs and being inattentive to her nest the last couple of weeks, she’s been faithfully sitting on her X marks the spot eggs in the goat stall for the last two days and nights. Isn’t she pretty?

She doesn’t seem to mind our comings and goings. That’s magical too. I can’t help but coo at her and smile every time I walk past.

Unexpected surprises can also be magical. For example, finding one of Lenny’s winter stashes in the hose storage container by the barn. How does he know he needs to save for the upcoming months? Whether it’s magic or instinct, made me smile.  

Yesterday, this one made me say, “Well, I’ll be.” 

The sandhill cranes are back in town. This was our first official sighting of the year from Morning Bray Farm. The magic in this… Limpy (in the foreground) is back for her third straight year in a row. In case you’re wondering, Limpy limps. That’s how we know it’s her.

She brought a big old smile to my face. Simply magical. ♥

This baby’s come a long way.

While Momma remains quite feral, Baby Boy has been coming around a lot lately. He’s full of curiosity and will come right up and sniff my hands now, which makes me happy.

Yup, he’s another one I hope to kiss right on the nose someday. ♥

This is the farm down the road where Momma and Baby Boy came from. We counted a total of 20 lambs yesterday, including quite a few sets of twins.

It’s hard to believe Baby Boy was really that small just a year ago. He has grown up to be such a handsome boy, don’t cha think?

Momma and Baby Boy are American Blackbelly sheep. When they came to Morning Bray Farm one year ago, Baby Boy was just a week old. Their extremely docile nature makes them such a calming influence on our farm.

This is Baby Boy at one week. He was so cute you could’ve sopped him up with a biscuit.

This is Baby Boy today. Isn’t he handsome? We can’t wait to watch his horns grow.

Momma is the best mom we’ve ever seen.