Caution, cuteness.

The annual Estes Park Wool Market was last weekend (June 10, 2011…someone needs to get on the ball about posting. Yeah, that’d be me). Thousands of woolen creatures–sheep, goats, alpacas, vicunas, llamas, rabbits–all there for the petting. Oh the cuteness.

A handsome llama waits for the pack-llama judging to start.

If he were my llama, I’d name him “Bucky.”

100% cuteness.

110% cuteness.

Such a chill, smart-seeming goat. I think we really had a connection. Had I a farm, I’d have taken this one home with me. It could have ridden in the back of the Subaru, right? I’d name it Cleo. I promise to trim it’s hooves.

Wooly goat!

Wooly goats…oreo style.

Baby goat! The ultimate in cuteness.

The day wasn’t all cutness. There was also the eating of cute animals. There is something a little disturbing about a lamb sandwich for lunch before you go pet some lambs, but only if you think about it too much.

Under the tomatoes and delicious Greek yogurt sauce was some Colorado-grown lamb patty. Yum.

Chowing down on Greek-style lamb patty on a pita.

Then,Β  something we’d never seen before, or even heard of–llama agility. I snagged some front-row seats in the shaded arena where we watched llamas compete in a complex agility course. It was really cool to see the relationship between animal and handler–most of the obstacles really seemed to be about the llama trusting its human.

The tire walk. Seemed like the objective was to get the llama to have all 4 feet inside the tire at the same time.

The water obstacle! The little pool was filled with water and floating plastic balls. The llama had to walk through. This guy kind of jumped out at the end.

For this one, the handler rolls an excercise ball around a kiddie-pool. Seemed like more of a human-trick than a llama trick.

The “up and over” challenge.

Towards the start of the course, the llamas had to walk through a pile of branches.

Here, the llama is supposed to face its handler and scoot sideways along the hay bales. More than one llama came to this challenge and was all, “snack!” chowing down on the hay. Um, no, llama. That’s not how it goes.

In this one, the llama has to walk along this narrow carpet between some rocks, keeping all its feet on the carpet.

The hoola-hoop. The handler would pass the hoop over her body, down the lead, onto the llama, and then back the way it came. The llamas mostly just stood there and took it. If I were a llama, I think I’d have been spitting about this. There’s probably a point deduction for spitting, though.

After llama agility, there was “leaping llamas” and “llama limbo.” There was one small llama–looked more like an alpaca–that won the limbo on account of being so short. The crowd really got into these events, cheering on the llamas and giving them a collective “Awwww,” when they’d knock the bar down. It was also pretty funny to watch the handlers. Some would jump the bar, others would try to go around, but that usually confused the llama who was like, “You didn’t jump, why should I jump?” Videos captured the action better than stills. Enjoy!


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93 thoughts on “Caution, cuteness.

  1. “Llama-agility”… that is easily the most comical thing I’ve ever heard of! haha. Sounds like it was a fun day. πŸ™‚

  2. Great post! We used to show our alpacas at the Estes Park Wool Market Alpaca Show several years ago and it was always a wonderful event. Unfortunately the alpaca show outgrew the facility and so while they have alpacas there for display they no longer have the show (except for the fleece show). Loved the video of the Leaping Llamas, the solid brown one looks like an alpaca to me. Your post brought me happy memories and a smile to my face.

  3. Totally weird that I’m about to say this, but llamas are my fave. Seriously… they’re all ADORABLE, especially the 110% cute one you posted up there. Although I also like the Jerry Curl lama you met, too lol… so much fun!

  4. I recently wrote a post about visiting an alpaca farm, entirely for their cuteness, to be perfectly honest :). I just ADORE them! Great post, and congrats to being FP!

  5. Some these livestock are the spitting image of the girls I used to date. Then I lowered my standards.
    Any iguana festivals on the horizon? I’m feeling a little lonely.

  6. One day my husband, my mother-in-law and I went to a zoo in Mayaguez Puerto Rico and I remember that a llama started to spit out only to my mother-in-law. I really have respect to llamas. They look cute, but treacherous.

  7. i have goats and alpacas and they are awesome. i also have baby goats and my two alpacas names are sweet pea and q-tip. they are brothers, and if you go to the clark county fair, you have to go to the goat barn and the alpaca “barn” and you might see me there showing my animals:)

  8. They’re so cute! But I think it’s sad that you could then show photos of burgers… would you have felt comfortable killing one of them if you were hungry? Why get someone else to?

  9. I went to the Estes Park Wool Market once. It was pouring rain so we took shelter indoors. No matter–I soon found a fabulous yarn by Brooks Farm Yarn. I knitted that too-small hat for two years, but I love it. Now I can finally say I saw the animals too. Thanks!

  10. Fun post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.
    I couldn’t help noticing someone attempted to smuggle a woolly mammoth s
    Into the competition at the tail end! (Final video)!

  11. I’ve never won anything just for being short (I’m also 5ft 2 but my husband just calls me ‘short’) – my 25 year old daughter would love a Lama for Xmas – she has nowhere to put one, but still, it’s nice that she still has impossible dreams at her age. Congrats on being freshly pressed!!!

  12. I love those close up shots of animals. It reminds me of the time I took my daughter to the Cincinnati zoo. In the children’s zoo there they had goats. She was very little at the time and the goats tried eating her dress. We had to making a mad dash from the petting pen, leaving behind our map which the goats promptly ate.

  13. omg i love llamas. alpacas are pretty cool too. when i get my own farm ranch thing i will definetly get some goats, llamas, and alpacas. great post

  14. Wow – Definitely 100% cuteness…I also knit with Wooly Lama wool…check me out at wordpress blog Catherine Garvin Northwest Fashionista/Portland’s Writer Girl….I really love the sweetness of these adorable creatures. Many blessings.

  15. never knew there’s a woolen animal show until you posted it. and yeah the cuteness… no one can deny! where was the llama show held? looks like a dog show, but the llamas were the stars of the day.

  16. Who can resist their faces? They have the be the cutest things!! We have alpaca festivals where I live and that is always the highlight of my summer!

  17. Pingback: AnimalShak » Woolen Cuteness in Colorado

  18. That llama at the end is just taking it’s sweet time.”Just leisurely walking through a park!- hey! Whys der a bar here?

  19. Pingback: Instalunch | the short stack

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