A Day at Oasis Camel Dairy

The Ramona-based ranch gives the love, and feeds watermelon, to its sweet dromedaries.

CAMEL CUTE: All of us, as very young tots, learned some important early lessons about the animals that share our planet. We discovered that when one pets a cat, we stroke it gently, head to tail, never pulling at the fur. We learn that overfeeding a dog tasty treats is not recommended (same goes for goldfish and fish food). And the whole camel-hump mystery, too, was likely introduced to us just as we were picking up our very first storybooks. And the mystery is this: Does a camel have one hump or two? The answer, of course, is both; the one-hump camels are dromedaries and the two-hump camels the bactrian. "Dromedary" might have been one of the first long words you learned to say, even, if you had a special animal obsession when you were a kid (and didn't we all). But how many dromedaries have you seen in person in your life? Have you been able to admire the camel's majesty and beauty and sweet face from close-up? And not just in a documentary or film or book? There's a way to get that knowledge, and have a fun, beastie-sweet time doing it, too. The Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona welcomes visitors "once a month for public tours." But you don't have to wait to long for a special way to interact with the tall, tall residents of the sizable spread. You only have to pen...

JULY 31-AUG. 2... on your camel calendar. That's the weekend when the annual Watermelon Days return to the dairy, a special weekend when, wait for it, visitors get to feed watermelon to the camels. Really now... Do you need to know more? Will everything to come in your life, ever after, pale just a little bit, once you've lovingly held up a watermelon before a watermelon-craving camel? It's a beautiful thing, indeed, and a rare chance to interact with a camel on a culinary, yum-yum basis. A bird show and farm animals out and about are on the weekend schedule, too. Tickets? They're fifteen bucks per adult, and a ride on a camel is extra. The money will help out agriculture-focused youth to-dos in the area. As for that photo of you feeding a happy camel some juicy melon? That'll likely be your profile picture, on all your various social media sites, by the following Monday morning, we expect.

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