Whew! It’s near triple digits today and not the slightest of breezes. We arrived bright and early to find the construction crew already hard at work, breaking ground on the second phase of our expansion and until about 5 minutes ago, the day hasn’t slowed down once! But the upside of that is I feel fairly confident that the chimpanzees and bovines enjoyed their very decidedly summer day and all it brought their way. How does it get better than that?!
First of all, today we celebrated Betsy’s 13th birthday! This endearing little bovine family of four bring smiles to our hearts every day. They continue to surprise us with their unique, increasingly independent personalities and we’ve been loving watching their wild mountain cattle sides emerge as they explore their summer pastures and even more space to do as they choose.
Chad and Anthony made Betsy a birthday bowl of oats, corn and alfalfa and well, the birthday lady nearly knocked Anthony over to get to it!
Betsy, her son, Nutmeg, and Meredith getting every last bite:
Betsy and Nutmeg:
If you look closely, you can see Jamie in the background. We’ll just go with the thought that Jamie was wishing Betsy a happy day. 😉
Outside of Betsy’s birthday party in the pasture, much of our time was spent thinking of ways to help the chimpanzees feel a little respite from the heat. They had frequent ice cube breaks, buckets of Gatorade, AND! We broke out the snow cone machine! Shaved ice in paper boats with a dash of blue Gatorade and a couple frozen raspberries. The seven are well acquainted with the joy of snow cones, but I’m not sure if Mave, Honey B and Willy B have had them before. They were met with the three’s usual level of suspicion and deadpan looks over what crazy thing the humans may be trying to serve them/poison them with. Once they tentatively tasted them, they seemed to be on board with the idea. Apologies for the lack of photos of the snow cones, but they tend to disappear as fast as we can make and serve them.
Foxie and Orange Blossom waking from a nap in the beyond toasty greenhouse:
This joyful guy makes all our hearts soar. Just because it’s sweltering doesn’t mean he can’t flail about with France Dora while lying down:
The rest of the day was busy humans cleaning and chimpanzees in puddles, resting in cool spots. The chimps are all in their night nests as I type this, but in the cameras I can see Honey B nesting in front of the fan, and Jody, Foxie and Annie with their legs up in the air against the caging. But of course, the boss lady, Jamie, is busy, still enjoying the evening enrichment of peanut butter, seed and raisin pine cones. As I told the chimpanzees goodnight, Jamie asked for her still beloved book of Salmon Sisters Xtratuf boots and without fail, whenever I hand it to her, she hoots with joy and hugs it close. She is holding it with one foot while the other foot and both hands are busy with the pine cones. Some of which she may or may not have stolen. It’s good to be boss.