Sarah Stultz: Try finding something new to do this week

Published 7:57 pm Monday, October 1, 2018

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz


Of all the years I’ve lived in Albert Lea, I’ve never taken the time to check out the Alpacas of Oak Knoll Farms off of Hammer Road.

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My son, Landon, who especially enjoyed seeing the animals this year at the Freeborn County Fair, had never seen alpacas up close, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to experience something new with him.

I haven’t been around alpacas too much, myself, so I was eager to check out the farm during the annual open house. I have heard many good things about it over the years and have always thought alpacas were rather unusual animals.

When we arrived at the farm and walked back to the animals, Landon excitedly proclaimed, “Hello, friends!”

“Whew,” I thought, as I let out a laugh. At least he didn’t scream and run the other way.

We walked closer to the enclosed area where a group of alpacas were waiting to greet visitors, and I watched as Landon studied the animals.

At first, he had an inquisitive look on his face — like he didn’t quite know what to think. Soon I saw a smirk and then a smile. Though the animals could reach out toward you, they were held back by the fence, and Landon quickly realized there was nothing he needed to be worried about.

Someone at the farm, who I believe was one of the owners, informed us there was hay we could feed to the animals.

Landon eagerly fed some of the hay to a few of the animals and then never looked back. He went back again and again to the hay bale, grabbing a little handful, announcing which color alpaca he was going to feed and then running over and handing it to them. He had so much fun, if I hadn’t stopped him after probably 10 or so times, he would have kept going all day.

Between the hay Landon fed them, plus the rest of the hay that all of the other visitors throughout the day gave, I’m sure those animals had full stomachs that night.

As simple as it was, that little 20-minute visit taught me the importance of trying new things.

Sometimes we feel a little hesitant, like Landon was the first few minutes we were with the alpacas. But after we give something a try, we often find out we enjoyed it more than we might have initially thought we would.

Thanks, again, for letting us check out the farm, and if you’ve never been, I encourage you to check it out next year.

Following Landon’s example, I’m going to try to find something new to do this week!


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.