Saturday, July 11, 2009

Oaklawn Adventures..

What a magical place. Oaklawn Farm is a zoo of sorts, but built on love of animals and caring beyond business. Gail Rogerson started this farm out of love and compassion for animals who needed homes and its grown into a collections of exotic and local animals. You have the freedom to roam amongst lamas and goats, you can pet the camels and be amazed by the hand raised lions and other cats. The morning started with this baby pony, upon seeing these three energetic girls watching down the fenced path, pranced over to see them and stayed while they all petted and babytalked her. It was like she picked these girls as her favorites, or that what the girls felt like. She chose them! The deer were adorable, sweet, gentle and somewhat hungry... but the goats...oh, the baby goats... they kept those kids mesmerized for ages.

We spent ages with the little baby goats who had escaped from there pen (because they were small enough to sneak out!) and then we moved on to see the other animals. We made our way to the main house again, but only to get quarters so we could go back to the goats and deer to buy corn bits. We spent ages again there feeding and petting... before we headed home for an afternoon of crafting. After supper we drove back to the farm (we had stamps on our hands to get back in free ) and it was suppose to be that we were there to watch Gail feed all the caAdd Imagets (lions, tigers, panthers, etc) but Gillian was all about those goats. We stayed only a second to see the big lion take TWO steaks out of the wheelbarrow and she lost interest. So, we broke off from the crowd and went off to see those goats again. They were frisky and full of vinegar, but they didn't want to come out of the gates.. they seems to be more interested in playing with each other than Gillian. She moved on to the deer and fell in love with their gentle faces, as she feed them the corn she had picked off the ground. She was amazed at how gentle they really were. She hadn't given them a second thought in the morning, because she was focused on the baby goats.

When we were about to leave the deer, we saw a momma goat, who had tried to get some grass from the other side of the fence, and her head got stuck because her horns prevented her from pulling her head back through the hole. So, we decided to be the "goat hero's" and we went to find Gail, the owner of the zoo. She was patiently walking through all the cat cages telling lots of facts about this particular cat, and what they ate, and little funny stories about them. After she was done feeding the Ocelot, we told her about the goat and she went with us to help get her unstuck.

Gail, has to be in her early 60's, and she hopped the 4.5 foot fence as if it was a 2 foot bench, and walked through a gaggle of geese, dispersing them in all directions, to get to this goat. She gently talked to it, trying to get its head straight enough to get it out but the goat was having no part of that! So, Gail said, "well, I didn't want to have to do this, but your asking for it!". We all held our breath..... and she flipped over the goat onto its back, and folded its chin down to its throat and pulled the head, out of the fence... just like that.... We all cheered, and the goat ran off to be with its family... not looking back to say thanks or anything. Gail said, it happens once and a while and she had to develop a technique to get them out. They don't like being on their backs but it was the best way... I never took one picture... can you believe it... I felt so bad for the bleating goat, I didn't want to take its picture. Now I wish I had!

One last thing... in all my years going to Oaklawn farm (20 plus years) I have never given the camels a second thought. They are ugly, stinky and rather scary looking. The girls never gave them a second look either today... like.. blah, who cares. Well, in the evening when we went to see the goats, we passed the pen with the friendly pony... and we gazed across the field in search of her. All of a sudden.. Mr. Camel trots along the fence to us... with a purpose.. like, he walked right along the fence, and stopped in front of Aubrey. He turned and we all backed up... ewwwwwwww..... but then he stuck his big brown nose through the fence.. and waited for us to pet him.

sorry about the double picture.. I can't see to delete the double. Anyway, we did, we petted him and the girls fell in love with his big brown eyes, soft nose and gentle manner. He was a bit drooly, and that was gross.. but other than that he was pretty cute. I have never seen a camel so friendly.. it was a fun night for sure.

1 comment:

GailM. said...

That's a great zoo. We're going to go there when we're there later this week. I'm getting excited to come down. I'm making lists of stuff to bring.