In the years I have worked at CSNW I have yet to have a day where I was unable to get at least one somewhat decent photo of one of the chimps. Until today. We haven’t had a lot of additional snow since last weeks storm, but it’s remained below freezing for days. It hovered in the teens today without even a glimpse of blue sky or sun. And for the majority of the day the chimpanzees have been gathered together in the loft area of their home, nesting, grooming and staying warm and cozy. This is also an impossible area to get photos of.
We had the grand idea that today would be the day we shoveled paths to a couple of the nearest structures for the chimps and we did this, but when I opened the door to Young’s Hill, it was like a ghost town. Late in the afternoon Jamie did make one attempt to go for a walk and made it down the pathway to the gate and then decided that was enough of that.
In the chimp house, things are kept in the toasty 70’s and the chimps’ Christmas tree is making things feel more festive (this is the chimps’ view from a front room looking into the kitchen). Anna spent the afternoon roasting good things to eat as the chimps watched with enthusiasm from their loft area:
Sweet, beautiful Annie for a brief moment on Young’s Hill during somewhat warmer temperatures last week:
That’s all I’ve got folks! I will leave you with a funny story of the day though. Missy often asks to have us open up the barn doors that face the chimps’ garden area even when it’s freezing outside and we try to explain to her that it’s too cold. I am convinced the chimps think we are holding out and it’s secretly summer on that side of the building. Well, today Jamie AND Missy thought they wanted those doors open. So I said, “Okay, if you really want to see what’s out there, let’s do it!”
So for a brief moment I flung the doors open and you should have heard the excitement. Jamie was pant-hooting at the top of her lungs and running around the playroom, Negra looked at me from above as though I’d lost my mind, and Jody and Burrito ran over to look with their hair standing on end (pilo-erect) in excitement then quickly left with their “cold” grimace faces. Everyone had a quick peek outside and a bite of snow and then I closed the doors up. They continued to hoot and holler and chase each other around the playroom, raising a ruckus for several minutes. Maybe cursing me out in chimpanzee? Or maybe happy to have been able to feel the elements on their faces, breath the fresh snow air, and feel a moment of exhilaration from the safety and warmth of their home? Or both! Who knows, but it’s nice to be able to answer their requests even when it’s not what they had perhaps hoped for. And it was still a choice they got to make and explore. And really, isn’t that what we all want?
Sweet, beautiful juncoes in the chimps’ garden: