Llama love.

When I recently went to the Green Meadows Petting Farm with my family, I was ridiculously excited to be face-to-face with llamas. When I saw them, all I could think about was a catchy tune that I’d heard on “Sesame Street” (like over 30 years ago!) that played while I watched a little girl take her pet llama to the dentist  (random, I know!).

Like alpacas (which I ADORE), I consider llamas to be magical creatures that I just want to hug! Well, not only did I get to wrap my arms around two llamas, Muffin and Biscuit, but I also got to give Baby Biscuit a little goodbye kiss. Yes, I know this will gross out some of you, but you animal lovers out there will understand my affection and appreciation for these cuties!

Here’s photographic evidence of my crankiness crusher. Hope it brings a goofy llama-like smile to your face!

Snow White Syndrome.

Learning that wild animals are living a cozy existence in your backyard might infuriate some people, but I’m tickled pink. My husband, on the other hand, is seeing red! He views them as germ-infested, invasive creatures who don’t belong on our property, while I believe that we’re the ones crashing their pad. It was their home first, right?

Today’s crankiness crusher was thinking about my wild kingdom. As the animals flock to our yard, it makes me feel like I’m their Snow White. đŸ™‚ I smile when I see the fat squirrel make off with a huge piece of bread as he runs along the top of our fence. I love pointing out the bunnies in our yard and how my kids’ eyes light up when they see them hopping along. I enjoy birdwatching from the kitchen window as they cheerfully come and go from our bird feeder.

Our pic of Rocco was too dark, but this guy is just as cute!

Our yardmate Gilbert the Groundhog has dug humongous burrows near the foundation of our house, but I would never set a trap or call Animal Control. He’s just too darn cuddly looking! (Those of you who aren’t animal lovers are probably rolling your eyes at this sentence.) I’m sure I’ll catch him scurrying off with a bunch of my flower heads filling up his cheeks soon. Last night, I noticed that the bird feeder tempted a new animal friend–a raccoon (who I’ll call Rocco). I seriously thought it was a huge gray cat sitting on our deck until he turned sideways and I saw the black mask. He must have been there for an hour sticking his snout into the bird feeder and chowing down on the wild berry square I had put out for them. My husband snapped a picture of him with his iPhone, and while he was upset that we have yet another rodent to worry about, he admitted that he looked kind of cute using his little hands to scavenge for food. It appears that Rocco even managed to knock some of the crankiness out of him!

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character.” Knowing that the animals feel our yard is a safe place for them makes me happy–and it gives me more opportunities to nurture the living things around me. What’s your take-away from all of this? If you live somewhere where the wild life is abundant, try to focus on living in harmony with nature rather than instinctively chasing it away. The critters may bring you more happiness than you thought!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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