June 2, 1984 — January 25, 2009
Simply the most remarkable llama and friend I've ever encountered; his companionship was a privilege and a once-in-a-lifetime treasure.
Dusty in Jefferson Park
Ranger Dusty in Jefferson Park September 21, 2002 scanned print Nikon FE 50mm f/1.8 The scanner really does not do the original print justice ... obviously I need to work on my post-production skills ... Dusty was 18 years young at the time.
Ranger Dusty on Mount Constitution
Almost at the top of the lookout (the final portion of the stairs wasn't llama-friendly).
Dusty enjoys the view, as always
Sept 17, 2007 (age 23 years) From the lookout at the top of Mount Constitution, almost at the top (the final portion of the stairs wasn't llama-friendly). Dusty always enjoyed the views, even though advancing cataracts (apparently caused by multiple dental x-rays half a lifetime before) stole much of his pleasure by this time. This was Dusty's last hike with me. His increasing uncertainty and lack of confidence when trying to get into the van or negotiate unfamiliar ground the following spring was distre…
Dusty enjoys the shade of the largest Aspen tree
08.23.2008 Years ago, Dusty complained that his pasture had no shade (his stall did, but that wasn't what he wanted). The three aspen trees I swiftly planted did grow large enough to provide a Dusty-sized shade spot, and he enjoyed it often. :-) If taking photos of any black animal is tough, digital capture of a black llama in the shade with bright sun all around is really a tall order ... fortunately, as long as the exposure is not too far off the mark, there is always assistance from Photoshop!
Dusty nosing through the alfalfa pile
09.24.2008 By this point, the leaves were all he could masticate well enough, so it was a long search through the stems for the few morsels as yet undiscovered late each afternoon (he had plenty of chopped alfalfa in the stall, but hunting for leaves obviously was much more fun). With the exception of an acquired injury to the deep ligaments of his hip joint at age 22.5, Dusty remained completely sound his entire life, well up on his pasterns and possessing a strong back without any trace of sagging or sw…
Ranger Dusty enjoys a sunny October afternoon in his pasture
10.20.2008 I fenced off most of Dusty's chosen territory when he was about sixteen, fearing that eventually some young punk would try to clean his clock and actually succeed. I thought Dusty would be upset at losing the freedom to roam the entire eight acres, but it turned out I was by far the one most upset. Relieved of the stress that came with defending the vital boundaries of his home from testing youngsters and disrespectful adults alike, Dusty was able to spend the last third of his life relaxing and…
Ranger Dusty and Mount Jefferson
July 24, 1998 scanned from 3.5 x 5 print Nikon FE Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AIS Jefferson Park is my favorite place on earth. Unfortunately, even though getting there requires a minimum 4+ mile hike (more than 6 miles on my favorite trail) and all of the approaches require a long and significant elevation gain, FAR TOO MANY people end up here ... and it's obvious. For that reason, I restrict myself to one trip or fewer per year, and almost always at the end of the season. This was my only pilgrimage during the…
Dusty at Duffy Lake
Sept 22, 1991 Duffy Lake was Dusty's favorite place in the whole world (next to his own real estate, of course). Duffy Lake really WAS a beautiful place until the B&B fire. It actually didn't come through too badly compared to most of the southern Mt. Jefferson Wilderness. The opposite shoreline (above) kept a very narrow band of unburned trees, and the east end (with the meadow Dusty loved so much) was untouched. A good thing, because while the fires were burning, I was at a loss to explain to Dusty why…