Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Lambtown 2011 (aka October Challenge: Day 1)

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Confession: I’ve fallen off the blogging wagon lately. I’ve been taking photos and thinking of interesting post topics, but haven’t managed to actually compose anything at all. I’d like to blame technology and the fact that my computer was so freaking old that posting to THL seemed to take AGES and I spent hours uploading and posting photos. I’d also like to blame life for being far too hectic and my kid who never sits still long enough for me to take her photo these days.

However – all excuses aside – I mostly just need a kick in the pants to get the ball rolling again. So here goes… [commence self-kicking]

Tonight I am pleased to announce the This Hartmann Life OCTOBER CHALLENGE: I hereby challenge myself to post to the blog every day this month. (Dan may have to be badgered encouraged  to post too, although he is thoroughly ambivalent about this endeavor). The goal is to give myself the kick I need to get the blog rolling again and my blogging mojo flowing. Here goes!

Day 1: Lambtown 2011

Some of our more devoted readers may recall that this time last year we discovered Northern California’s best kept agricultural fair secret: Lambtown USA. It’s the California sheep and wool festival and also includes the state alpaca judging contests. It’s an hour’s drive from Oakland and a million miles away in attitude. It’s got a small town Americana vibe and lots of friendly people and animals. There’s also a fiber festival with spinners, knitters, dyers and weavers demonstrating their crafts and selling fabulous wares.

This year, our good friends Liz and Judith came along and brought a couple of teenagers with them. I wasn’t sure that the teenagers would be as enthralled with the fiber fair vibe as I am, but they seemed to enjoy themselves well enough. Neither had ever been to an event like this before, so at least it will go down in the books as a first! Not so sure they’ll be itching to go again next year… we’ll see.

We checked out the barns, watched some sheep judging and learned about alpacas from a friendly rancher and his kids who were showing their alpacas as part of a 4-H project. Pretty cool, and interesting to boot!


What do you think? Best in Show?

Last year Ryan was enthralled with the animals. This year she thought they were cool, but really just wanted to push the stroller around the barns… I guess after all those visits to the zoo, this city girl is a seasoned veteran at 21 months!

Hello Gorgeous! Seriously, is this not the cutest livestock you've ever seen??? I wonder if Oakland has any anti-alpaca codes. Think how cute he'd be in the backyard!

There was an incredibly well-stocked baby animal petting area – probably the best ever. And this caught all of our attention for a while before lunch. How can you not be drawn to a miss-mash of piglets, chickens, geese, baby ducks, a baby cow, baby goats, bunnies, baby alpacas, AND a baby donkey? All in one enclosure. It was crazy. But fun. Very high cute quotient.

Enjoying the baby animal farm menagerie. Some serious observation underway. Even Bunny got in on the action!

And so, a great day was had by all. I even managed to squeeze in some fiber shopping (11 oz. Cormo roving! Hello winter woolies…) and ran into some folks from AVFKW’s Commuknitty nights. Fun all around.

And so the CHALLENGE is off to a good start. We’ve got quite a month ahead of us here at THL… stay tuned!



Ode to Wild Spring – Bunnies, Monkeys and Vultures! (Oh my.)

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

As described previously, the weather around here has been lousy for the last few weeks. But it looks like spring is finally coming our way. Even the animals at the zoo were excited. (Yes, we could tell.) In honor of SPRING FEVER we bring you installment number two of our Ode to Wild Spring… enjoy!

After visiting the goats, we headed out to see a bunch of our other favorite animals. It seems that everyone was happy for the rain to have stopped. It certainly made Ryan happy. Our first stop was the Bunnies. You see, bunnies are a big deal in our household. Ryan sleeps with a stuffed bunny (named “Bunny” – we’re original like that) every night and uses sign language to ask for it. If Bunny has gone missing, then we stop everything and hunt for Bunny. We just cross our fingers that nothing dire ever happens to Bunny…

Usually the bunnies at the zoo are rather sedentary, or they are cowering from the crowds. But on Sunday, they were out in force. Hopping, sniffing, and generally looking rather cute. Ryan certainly thought so.

From there, we walked up the hill a bit to see the Squirrel Monkeys. These cuties are Dan’s favorites and we spent a good long while watching them play and swing through the trees. Ryan loves them. Her newest animal sound is the monkey sound.

We were having a great time, just chilling with the monkeys and such, when we were reminded just how wild those crazy zoo creatures are. I think being cooped up inside for weeks on end got on everyone’s nerves. Right next to the cutie-pie monkeys we heard the most alarming noises coming from the chimpanzees’ area. It seems that Chimp A (we’ll call him Jim) stole the warm blanket from Chimp B (we’ll call him Harvey) and Chimp C (we’ll call her Bernadette) had to add her two cents’ worth to the argument. Here’s what it all looked like.

Needless to say, Ryan was a bit disturbed by this. We promptly left and headed down to check out the tortoises. It’s much calmer in the tortoise zone. But more on that in the next post… Stay tuned!



While the squirrel monkeys played, the bunnies hopped and the chimps stole blankets… the vultures kept busy…

(Romance and whispering sweet nothings are clearly not high priorities for these guys.)







Where the Wild Things Are

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Not only was last weekend a fabulously long three days, but it was absolutely GORGEOUS here in the Bay Area. Sorry, east coasters, but it’s hard to beat 70 degrees in January… (Nevermind that it’s 58 degrees and foggy all summer. But I digress…)

Anywho, we decided to join the masses and head to the Oakland Zoo for a fine afternoon of visiting with the big animals. It was a lot of fun, and we feel lucky that: a) it’s only 5 minutes from our house; and b) Pinky and Dick gave us an annual membership for Christmas. Woo Hoo! We’re gonna be regulars!

We actually hadn’t been there before, and Ryan really enjoyed herself. Here are a few highlights of the day. Enjoy!

A big kitty, to say the least! Very Beautiful

Giraffes are incredibly cool. But do they make noise? If you know of a giraffe noise, let me know. It always stumps me when I try to add sound effects to Ryan's books.

Checking out the elephants with Mommy.

African elephants are HUGE and very cool. Much bigger than the Asian elephants I hung out with in Thailand.

Strolling in the afternoon sun. Glorious.

Hope you are having a spectacular winter wherever you may be!