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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dreams of Paradise

I'm still dreaming of that island for Bow, but here are some of the things that are keeping it from happening. It's not just the cost of building the island. I think maybe I could raise that money from supporters. It is also what might happen to my property taxes if the local tax assessor saw such an island and whatever shelter I may put on it for Bow as an improvement to the land. If taxes go up, this impacts my ability to keep going.

I could try to claim some sort of tax exempt status, but I have looked into 501(c) (3) organizations, and the paper work alone is daunting, and I would need to have a board that would end up being able to outvote me, and in view of recent events, I would seriously be concerned about the government's being able to cause me trouble if they did not like some of my opinions.

 Whatever I do for Bow has to be self-sustaining from both a financial and an ecological standpoint.  It should be something that will live on for more than one generation, and I would like for that paradise to include a companion for Bow.

How many primate lives could be supported on a mere five acres? They couldn't live by foraging alone. As much as Bow liked those wild onion chives, he prefers fruits and berries that contain a lot more calories. We are not ruminants who graze all day. That is why we primates prefer berries to grass, nuts to fruits, and we enjoy meat when we can get it. Calorie dense food is important to us, because we have better things to do than eat all day.

Bow enjoying a strawberry at dinner last night'

To that end, I have fruit trees on the other half of my land, and I am thinking of planting even more. The cherry trees are getting ready to burst into bloom.

The pear trees have got buds on them, too. Remember the one with a nest on it? This is how it looks now.

How many fruit trees would sustain a chimpanzee family? How could reasonable limits be placed on population growth without de-sexing anybody? These are all valid questions that require serious thought.

Living in Missouri may not be natural for chimpanzees, but it can be a very nice alternative to a completely natural life where nothing is guaranteed, if we make reasonable provisions. I hear that Jane Goodall is transporting some of the chimpanzees from her sanctuaries to an island. How big is the island? What sort of food does it grow? How has she taken into account future population growth and normal migration patterns? I would love to know the answers to these questions.

In the meanwhile, Bow and I manage quite well under a less grandiose scenario. Bow's pens are more spacious than many an urban apartment. He gets to sun himself outside every day in good weather. And there are store bought strawberries!

It's not a primeval paradise. But it's home for now, and it is good.


  1. My hope is we can all find ways to expand our websites in the coming year. I know Google is making that harder all the time, but if there is a way to reach more people with your books and bump up sales to make your dream sustainable, I think it would be great. Perhaps you can find some backing with the exotic animal people you talk to?

    1. Hi, Julia. Those are nice thoughts, and I do hope that happens for you as well as for me. But the track record of my sites so far does not seem to be trending that way.

      I would love for an expansion in my readership to pay for those dreams for Bow, but that has not been the trend, so far. This will be the fifth year of my keeping a blog here about Bow, and I have been writing online since 2008 elsewhere, and if anything, the revenue is going down. The Amazon affiliate program is no longer available to me because of the laws that were passed in Missouri, Adsense has been basically stagnant and book sales, whether authored by me or by someone else that I publish, are always highest right after a book comes out.

      This does not mean that I am giving up. Thankfully I am not the sort of person who can be motivated by income alone, so I will keep it up whether I get paid for it or not. But the future for Bow needs to based on something that is not labor intensive for anyone.

  2. Interesting questions to ponder - especially the ones surrounding, "how to control population growth".
    Hey, don't know if you're aware, but you can get small fruit trees by the bundle from the Conservation nursery here in Licking. Roughly $10 - $12 per bundle (usually a dozen trees in each bundle).

    1. Thanks, Kathy. That is a very good tip about the fruit trees. Now I just have to find the conservation nursery!

  3. It's actually here in Licking on 63 North - take the road that goes behind Ed Green Realty.
    Driving directions:

    Ordering information - only a few days left!

    1. Thanks, Kathy.That is useful information!