You might just fall in love with an Alpaca

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For the upcoming National Alpaca Farm Days happening this weekend, I want to encourage others to get out and visit an Alpaca Farm and meet one of these incredible animals.  You may find yourself not wanting to leave without taking one home. 

I recently visited the Mager Mountain Alpaca Farm in Little Valley, NY.  Paul Mager and his wife, own and operate this farm as well as the "So Soft Gift Shop".  Paul immediately greeted us and allowed us to get up close and personal with the alpacas, and more warily on my part, the llamas.  The llamas came forward to my group right away, checking out the new-comers to their herd, making sure we were "alright".  Once that was out of the way, they remained back and the alpacas ventured forward around us, coming up to us at times or going about their business at other times. 

Paul educated us on how long his family has been raising alpacas, their origins (Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador) and everything from how the colors become so varied to explaining what certain behaviors mean.  Paul was extremely informative and talked with such passion about these animals that you could not respect and appreciate why someone would want an alpaca farm.

If listening to Paul wasn't enough to hold them in high regards, then just watching these graceful, friendly and sensitive animals sealed the deal.  When looking at an alpaca, you would think that petting one would be like a sheep, with thick fur.  Alpacas actually have fleece that is extremely soft and clean.  It was quite the surprise petting one.  The fleece was very thick, and when you pressed your hand down slightly it was like the Tempur-Pedic commercial, with your fingerprints remaining for a while. 

One alpaca in particular, Lillie was a little stand offish from the crowd, as she was new to Mager Mountains.  She seemed to find comfort in our group, standing by and walking around us several times.  Needless to say it was hard parting with Lillie when it was time to go. 

Alpaca Gang at Mager MountainsWatching Cha Cha, Lillie, Millie, Ziva, Tony, Brown Sugar and the rest of the gang in their natural habitat, while being educated about them truly was a memorable and peaceful experience.  If you have not had this chance please take my recommendation to visit an alpaca farm, listen to what they are all about and spend some time interacting with them.  You will find that it will be the first of many visits!

About Jacquie

"Live in the Sunshine. Swim the Sea. Drink the Wild Air."  - Emerson

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Meaning of the word Cattaraugus

CATTARAUGUS, from a Seneca Indian word meaning “bad smelling banks,” referring to the odor of natural gas leaking from rock seams. http://www.dos.ny.gov/info/pdfs/countynames.pdf

The word "Cattaraugus" means "foul-smelling river bank." This name is a result of the natural gas that oozes from the river mud. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattaraugus_Creek.

In our opinion, only some of the river banks are bad smelling. Come on over and visit a creek in Cattaraugus County and tell us what you think.

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