As many of us across the US are preparing for the arrival of an Arctic blast this week, here at the sanctuary the north winds are right on cue. Yesterday, the snow fell in great, thick swirls of wind all day long. A large herd of deer came through the sanctuary and you could barely make them out through the heavy flurries:
The snow didn’t begin actually sticking until overnight, but it stopped in time for us to arrive to a snow-covered sanctuary lit up by a bright winter sun. But you know what was swirling on the cold winds this morning? The familiar first song of spring from the returning red-winged blackbirds by the pond! Their tenacity and fortitude never ceases to amaze me. As I stood at my car silently cheering their arrival, a flock of Canada geese flew overhead, returning from their winter lands as well.
Later in the afternoon I tried to run up to the pond with the hopes of catching a photo of the blackbirds, but all was still and silent in the bitter cold. I was freezing and decided to scurry back to the chimp house and just as I turned to go, out of the corner of my eye I caught movement. I wasn’t the only one running to find shelter from the first polar winds. As I stood shivering by the pond, I caught a glimpse of Meredith and Nutmeg racing toward their barn. Go, Mere, go!! She actually passed Nutmeg up!:
Somehow, the chimpanzees still managed to make brief, but frequent trips outdoors, the seven to Young’s Hill and the three to their outdoor chute. Even in frigid temperatures, blue sky and sunshine can feel pretty amazing. We all need to feel the elements sometimes. At one point Foxie was the only one on the hill braving the cold to scoop up snow snacks. I could even see her rubbing her toes together as she sat, hair standing on end (pilo-erect – which is similar to us getting goosebumps) with a mouthful of snow. And if you don’t already know, rubbing her toes together is Foxie-speak for being happy and content. But it didn’t take more than a few blasts of that wind to send her running back inside to the warmth of the chimp house and her good friend, Orange Blossom:
(And no, your eyes do not deceive you, Foxie is not in a nest. The cozy wolf blanket is pushed to the side and she is soaking up the warmth from the heated floor in classic, nest averse Foxie-style):
Stay safe, warm and cozy, everyone!