With an entire day of sunshine and at least “warmer” temps in the forecast on this first day of our winter solstice, we started the day with the plan to get the chimps onto Young’s Hill! J.B. fired up the plow and made pathways all around the chimps’ outdoor enclosure and Anna shoveled her heart out in this wet, heavy snow to create connecting pathways:
Jody was the first to venture out and you can see by sneer on her face, it was still pretty chilly. But she was content to spend quite a bit of time just sitting in the bright sun, taking in the winter wonderland her home has become:
Foxie ventured out next and grabbed a snow snack before heading back inside the greenhouse to enjoy it:
Beautiful Annie just sat serenely in the sunny raceway (the tunnel that connects the greenhouse to Young’s Hill) seemingly taking in this beautiful first day of winter in awe:
Later in the morning after it warmed up a bit, several of the chimps decided to venture out and head up the hill on their snowy paths. They made it all the way to Twister before heading back down! Jody, Missy, Annie and Jamie (at base of Twister):
Missy, Annie, Jamie, Jody:
Annie follows bipedally behind Missy and Jody:
Jody foraging for snow on the way back inside:
Jamie, looking so happy to be back in her element, patrolling her beloved hill:
The other girls headed back inside, but Jamie wasn’t done checking out her territory. She ventured down every path that J.B. plowed, eventually climbing up Negra’s cabin to take in the view:
Once at the top, she had the smart plan to avoid the snow and check out the neighboring structure by attempting to walk the tightrope across:
She quickly reassessed her plans and decided to brachiate (swing arm over arm) across the snow instead!:
The chimps spent the rest of the day peaceful and seemingly content, luxuriating in the warm sun, napping and grooming. I didn’t see Negra go outside, but I did see her come in with a mouthful of snow. She spent hours gazing out across the valley at the bright landscape from the windows, her hand held against the warmth of the sun, silhouetted by the bright blue sky.
Happy Solstice everyone, be it your winter or summer!