The summers at the sanctuary begin with the grass and plants an almost unnatural neon green. The plant life boastfully emerges from the earth looking impossibly fresh. The photos we take during this period are beautiful with the chimpanzees’ dark hair contrasted against the bright green of the grass on Young’s Hill.
Jody with some wild plant she’s harvested:
This period of lush green that comes on so strong, holding the promise of electrified life, sometimes feels like a fleeting moment. As soon as summer begins, the precipitation seems to come to a halt. The grasses release their seeds and begin to fade, but they remain tall and the chimpanzees can hide and explore in this more wild landscape.
Jamie in the foreground, Missy in the background:
With the threat of wildfire that arrives each summer, and to allow the chimpanzees to navigate the hill a bit easier, we (meaning J.B.) mows pathways that turn to amber streaks across the fading but stubborn green grass.
Annie (taken today):
Negra collecting her lunch from a forage set out on the hill (taken today):
While the rich and deep green of early summer imparts a contagious sense of renewed life, there’s definitely a beauty with the changing landscape of each season. Just as the grass turns gold, the established bamboo plants along the irrigation lines have produced ambitious shoots that leaf out and offer greenery for many more months, which Jody clearly appreciates:
There’s something for every season, and I think that the chimpanzees appreciate what this sanctuary environment has to offer year-round. Yes, even as the seasons inevitable progress into winter: