As you probably know, we have an enrichment calendar that guides the volunteer or staff member who is putting together enrichment for the following day for the chimpanzees. It provides some sort of theme for the day, like “art day” or “troll scarves.” Sometimes it’s just a color, which causes us to dig through the enrichment bins and perhaps unearth that blue or red or green toy that hasn’t surfaced in a while.
I was laughing yesterday about the theme for today’s enrichment: Grey Day.
It is entirely appropriate, being that the outside world is on the grey spectrum today. Right before I opened the door to the hill to let the chimpanzees decide whether or not to venture out into the overcast day or stay inside, a bald eagle flew overhead. I was marveling at how majestic he was, gliding through the sky, unmistakable from other birds with his starkly contrasting white head with black wings.
This led me to wonder if perhaps I was thinking about Grey Day in an entirely unfair light (so to speak). Grey is beautiful. To prove it, just look at these black and white photos of the chimpanzees. Removing the distraction of color can be a special thing. With the photos of the chimps, I just want to study them a little bit longer, and I notice features that maybe I would overlook in the same photo saturated with color.
So, today, we embrace the grey.