One of my favorite times of the day is when I first walk into the chimp house in the morning. The chimpanzees are usually all awake when we get here, but there are often a few moments of stillness before the chimpanzees excitedly greet the caregivers and the wild rumpus of the morning begins. Sometimes a few people are still enjoying a quiet lie-in in their nests, as Missy was today, looking half asleep and yawning as she fluffed up her nest:
Annie was just in the next window over, peacefully enjoying the view of the valley below:
Next I spotted Jody, tucked away in her cozy nest, not quite ready to get up:
Then I went out to the greenhouse to say good morning to whomever was out there and found good friends, Burrito (left) and Foxie (right), enjoying an intent grooming session in the morning sun. The spot they are sitting in is the east facing side of the greenhouse which looks out onto Young’s Hill (when the panels are off in the warmer weather). Even though it’s still too cold to remove the panels, it’s a favorite spot in the morning as the sun first hits here when it comes up over the hill in the morning:
I looked up to see Negra peeking down from the top platform of the greenhouse, where it’s the warmest. Right after this photo she climbed down, gave me a quick kiss, and then grabbed some more blankets and headed back up to her nest:
So by this time, you might be wondering (as was I) where the boss lady, Jamie, was. As the dominant female of the group, we always try to greet Jamie first in the morning. This isn’t hard to do as she is usually one of the first people we see when we come in, so it was unusual not to see her by now. Leaving the greenhouse, I turned the corner into the human hallway of the chimp house and…Jamie! Wide awake and on duty! Nothing gets by this lady. Now this is the moment as the photographer where we are either going to be in trouble for wantonly taking photos without her approval, or she’ll show us some leniency and let our pesky paparazzi ways pass. This morning, she happily obliged and even gave me several head nods when I asked to take her photo.
A beautiful start to a beautiful day.