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Thursday, February 21, 2008


Last night of course was a total lunar eclipse and we were looking forward to the possibility of seeing it happen. We were not disappointed at all. Moon not quite full, not a cloud in the sky, stars out everywhere and well we live a bit off the beaten track so city lights don't interfere with our star gazing hardly at all. The motion sensor lights are a bit of PITA, but I just throw the switch and walk around in the dark.

There is a drawback however to moonlit nights. At least from now on apparently.

So I wander out into the back pastures with the boys, Chloe in tow. I have pretty good night vision and the moon had risen enough that my eyes worked just fine, especially since I knew where I was going. Chloe on the other hand isn't quite as adaptable to the dark, so halfway out there I'm already in trouble. Oh well, stuff happens. And of course I'm way too stubborn to go back to the house and get a flashlight. The boys are all spread out and probably annoyed that we are out there during their 'quiet time', but again, oh well they'll get over it. A couple are hanging out in the shelter, but most of them are soaking up the whole weather reprieve and are choosing to sleep out in the open.

It was a glorious thing to watch. The moon just kept getting more and more copper colored, and stars [well I guess planets] just kept popping out around the moon, just to say 'HI, SURPRISE'. It really was cool the way they just showed up. Yeah, I know they were and have always been there, but....

Some of you have heard me share a bit about our three LGD's. We've got Yogi, and Gracie and LUNA. All three are a never ending adventure and so far have been more fun than not. They are just an amazing part of our lives. Luna is the youngest, but contributes to our lives in her own special ways.

So, we are out in the pasture, sitting on the cable spools that are out there for Yogi who loves playing "up" with me, and uses them regularly as HIS guard points. Gracie is too old and really small so she never even tries jumping up on them, and Luna just hasn't figure out how Yogi gets all four legs off the ground at the same time, so she bounces up and down with her feet on the spool. Like watching a kangaroo trying to learn how to jump. She gets laughed at a lot. Yogi decides he wants up onto his spool, and since I'm already on it doesn't quite have enough room to fit, and doesn't quite make it, so I have to 'make room for him'. Fine.

Ok back to the eclipse, sorry about that. The moon is now ALL copper colored and I'm just mesmerized. Simple pleasures for simple people.

Out of nowhere Luna starts growling, way way way deep down hard solid and frankly quite frightening growl. I have heard her growl warnings before, but this was very different. Of course paranoid human that I am all sorts of things start rolling through my head and here I am sans flashlight. Yeah my vision is good, but not that good. Yogi and Gracie however are calm, quiet and just with us, grateful no doubt for the temporary relief from their nighttime duties. If we are out there, they figure they are off duty, sort of. Luna's growl keeps increasing and then she runs off up to the high spot of the pasture and is just coming totally unglued [she is really good at that]. Ok now paranoia becomes reality even though yogi and gracie are still just hanging with us.
I make Chloe go into the shelter [have no clue why though], and RUN back to the house to grab one of our super mondo spotlights and a weapon.

I may not be ancient yet, but am far from a spring chicken, and running is something I have given up on a long time ago. Anyway I FINALLY get back to the pasture and by this time, Yogi has joined Luna, but is not barking at all. Gracie just followed Chloe and was settled in the shelter which confuses me even more. She is usually spot on when it comes to threats, despite her age and diminutive size.

I throw the spot light on and see the two dogs, and there is Luna, head straight up in the air off towards the moon, jumping, barking, and snapping AT THE MOON! Apparently SHE decided that this giant copper penny in the sky was the absolute total enemy of the planet. Damndest thing I've seen yet, and unfortunately couldn't get her to accept it to save our lives. I did get her off her guard spot to come join us while we watched the eclipse fade away, was able to get her to quit barking, but she sat there for almost an hour, growling at her new found enemy!!

We have decided on two things about Luna; Wendy named her with some sense of cosmic humor in mind, and now instead of calling her Luna tunes, we are now going to call her Luna tic.

She has also apparently decided at least for now, that the moon is going to be her permanent enemy. Once we decided to leave the pasture for the night, she started up her personal offensive ALL NIGHT LONG! Not the usual I'm patrolling and occasionally barking to the world I'm here stay away all you bad guys that go bump in the night, but a continual solid constant and ever so annoying barking from the time we left the pasture, until quite literally the sun rose this morning. Frankly, you can only go outside and 'say good girl be quiet' so many times before you just flat give up. And I was hoping that eventually one of the llamas would go up to her and smack her upside the head and ask 'are you stupid!'. But they didn't, and a quiet night was had by none. Chloe was not impressed this morning at all!

Gary Kaufman,Olympia WA
Copyright 2008 Gary Kaufman, Roads End Llamas Olympia WA. Permission is granted for nonprofit educational duplication and distribution. This permission is in addition to rights granted under Sections 107, 108 and other provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act.

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