This morning Missy and Foxie went from climbing structure to climbing structure on Young’s Hill and licked as much frost as they could.
It was 30° but the sun and the promise of adventure enticed them to stay for awhile.
Today was sponsored by Erik Ruggeri for Rachel Ruggeri, in memory of Robert Ruggeri. Erik shared this message about his gift:
“Thank you, Rachel. There is no luck, only preparation and opportunity!”
Erik, thank you so much for contributing to the chimps’ lives as you honor Rachel and Robert today. We so appreciate you thinking of them in this way.
Rachel, we’re so grateful to you for always holding the chimps in your heart. We’re sending you and your family all good thoughts today and always.
The mornings here at the sanctuary have been clear, but icy cold. The chimps have all been in good spirits despite choosing to spend a little more time indoors and most of them spent the morning thundering through the chimp house and anxious to play. But the afternoon has been for snoozing in warm, sunny spots.
Foxie was the most joyful, wild woman when we arrived this morning. Granted, she usually is, but this morning was next level! The second I walked into the chimp house she greeted me by repeatedly jumping up and play thumping the ceiling of the loft (my cue to jump up and hit the arch of the doorway in return – silly human can’t jump far) and then playing chase. It’s a thing. She spent the entire morning doing somersaults, pirouettes, hanging upside-down and playing chase with all her caregivers. As a result, she needed a few naps later in the day and curled up on the heated floor of the playroom in a sunny spot:
We refer to this as Foxie’s “dead beetle pose” which she usually does when she’s feeling playful or relaxing:
Once Foxie started dozing off, I saw Jamie standing over her attempting to get her to play by pinching her toes. But Foxie was too exhausted for any shenanigans so Jamie eventually gave up and decided to bring her new boots over to just hang out with her friend:
Jamie has been carrying her new boots from friend, Kelsi, around all morning to nest with:
The chimps aren’t the only ones feeling sleepy and looking for sun puddles on these frosty cold mornings:
Nutmeg and Honey:
As soon as J.B. put fresh hay out for them yesterday they all four promptly curled up on it together in the sun, enjoying breakfast in bed.
Meredith and sleepy Nutmeg on a hay pile in the sun:
Betsy and her “baby boy,” Nutmeg:
Kelsi and Jamie are out for a pre-dinner walk before the sun sets over the hill and Negra should be clapping her demands for dinner service from the loft any second. Hoping you all are also finding the joy and cozy in these beautiful crisp mornings, be they your autumn or spring.
When I was watching Foxie this morning, I was thinking about when she first arrived with the rest of the Cle Elum Seven Chimpanzees. She showed some apprehension and perhaps suspicion those first weeks.
The first time she went into the larger space of what we call the playroom, she stomped all around the perimeter before venturing to the middle.
At first, she would push away the toys and blankets as though they might be contaminated.
And then came troll dolls…
Foxie was smitten:
and her imagination seemed to take off:
Today is day 3,802 of sanctuary for Foxie, Negra, Jamie, Burrito, Jody, Missy, and Annie.
Foxie is still suspicious of new things, or at least wants to verify for herself that we’ve built things well (see this video from earlier this year).
She’s more adventurous than ever, though. Each of the previous 3,801 days have been about her learning more about herself and the world of the sanctuary as it expanded and transformed around her.
This morning, Foxie (without a doll) climbed up on the newest structure on the hill that we call Esher and sat in the sun for a bit.
Then she was off to a new perch
Where she sampled some morning frost
After about 30 minutes, she came back to the greenhouse to groom with her friends and make the most of the rest of day 3,802.
Jody’s face is permanent wonder. It’s hope and expectation and awe, and it’s a reminder to us all to always be on the lookout for good things right around the bend.
The day after Jamieween I happened upon everyone but Jamie surrounding the remains of the great Jamieween pumpkin. (If you’re new to the blog, Jamieween is what we call Halloween here at the sanctuary as it’s also the day we celebrate boss lady, Jamie’s, honorary birthday). It’s amazing how far one ginormous pumpkin can go. And even more amazing that the chimpanzees crowded around said ginormous pumpkin giving each other turns at sticking their heads in for ginormous bites of it with relatively few kerfuffles. Though as you will see, a certain rather small chimpanzee woman seemed to be pulling every trick in the chimpanzee communication book to wind up with the pumpkin a lot more often than everyone else. Maybe the most amazing thing is “How much pumpkin can one tiny chimpanzee hold?”
And if you’re wondering where the boss was in all of this, she was actually sitting calmly and watching from afar. See, the ironic (and now much anticipated) thing about Jamieween is that Jamie isn’t always super interested in her Jamieween pumpkin because she seems to have deemed other treats a higher priority. But that makes Jody (who for the last three (?) years running has made it her mission to heist the pumpkin as fast as she can, and eventually six other chimpanzees, extremely happy.
Foxie wound up with it first and as you can see from her smile (note bottom teeth only!) she is over the moon about it:
Foxie did a lot of whimpering and asking permission from her good friend, Jody, to keep the pumpkin for awhile which seemed to pay off as Jody was extra patient waiting her turn:
as Foxie ate…
But Jody eventually could wait no longer and dove right in:
Notice Annie in the background waiting to make her move. She was getting pretty impatient, but finally saw her chance.
Once Annie got ahold of the pumpkin she climbed to the top of the greenhouse with it which Jody wasn’t entirely pleased about. Missy swung up to check things out and with much pleading from Annie (as Missy is more dominant than she is) she kindly allowed Annie to keep it. In the end, everyone got to share in the prize and Queen Negra wound up claiming the last chunk for herself.
Bonus photos of the day!
Negra enjoying breakfast in bed this morning:
Watching all those other foolish chimpanzees racing off onto the hill where it’s cold and there’s no breakfast:
Jamie supervising one of the gentleman painting her home and giving her nod of approval:
And dearest Foxie napping this afternoon:
When we arrived at the sanctuary this morning we had sun showers and a full rainbow over the sanctuary property. You know, those crazy sprinkles coming from a seemingly cloudless sky? And when volunteer, Ruth, arrived a few moments later, she said the chimp house appeared to literally be sitting at the bottom of the rainbow. It does so often feel that this special place is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The chimps have been soaking up every ounce of autumn sun as the rains are starting to make their way here. They all ran out with gusto this morning after breakfast, together, but then each spreading out in their own direction, their own ray of sun.
Jody watching over her family on Young’s Hill:
Burrito wearing his puffy coat in the cool morning air:
Missy on the go:
Annie may have been avoiding snake territory:
Foxie, Dora and Strawberry Shortcake decided to join Annie:
Negra was bundled up in the greenhouse enjoying the remainder of her breakfast. 🙂
Meanwhile, Jamie busied herself today building one of her beloved kitchenette forts for herself and her new pair of boots:
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