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Are We There Yet?: Be a Llama Mama

By Rebecca Dravis
iBerkshires Staff

"Llama, llama red pajama waiting, waiting for his mama" ... Who knew so many words rhymed with "llama"?

And who knew llamas could be so much fun! Find out for yourself this Saturday, April 12, with a double dose of llama drama (ha ha, I'm a poet) at the Mason Library in Great Barrington. First, at 10:45 a.m., children in grades pre-K through 3 can come make a fun paper llama. Registration requested at 413-528-2403 or through the website.

Then, at 11:30 a.m., the real llama will appear, courtesy of Debbie Elias, owner of Country Quilt Llama Farm. Elias will read stories (like something from the "Llama Llama" series by Anna Dewdney, where that first quote came from) and talk about llama behavior. The children can pet the llama, touch llama fiber products and bring home a llama worksheet. "It is the llama's docile, yet curious, personality that make them such wonderful animals to have the pleasure to work with and share with everyone," Elias' website says.

Speaking of animals, this Saturday also kicks off the annual rite of spring known as "Baby Animals on the Farm" at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield. Admission is free for children ages 12 and younger on family visits; general adult admission is $18 and youth admission (ages 13 to 17) is $8. If you have never brought the kids of this before, they — and you! — are in for a real treat. Baby Animals runs daily through May 4.

Since we have an animal theme going here, how about something decidedly less cute than baby chicks and cows ... like, say, reptiles and amphibians? On Sunday, April 13, Thomas F. Tyning, professor of environmental science at Berkshire Community College, will lead a foray in Hopkins Forest in Williamstown to look at a variety of its habitats and species. The walk starts at the forest's Rosenburg Center and is free and open to the public. The aim of the foray will be to look for frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes, and turtles (oh, my!). Tyning will lead an exploration of a variety of habitats, including forests, ponds, and streams, and to find and learn about the identification, life history, and behavior of some of the 20 species that inhabit Hopkins Forest. 

Hopkins Forest, which is owned and operated by Williams College, is located at the intersection of Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road.

I have one more weekend event to mention, something that is near and dear to my heart: a fundraiser for JDRF that will help find a cure for the disease affects my own 8-year-old and so many other kids (and adults) around the world. The West Stockbridge mom of one of those kids has organized an event that includes a pancake breakfast from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. and archery competition for kids at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 13, at the Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club. For more information, contact 413-232-4136.

Rebecca Dravis is the community editor at iBerkshires. She can be reached at rdravis@iberkshires.com.

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