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Saturday, April 26, 2014

The View From Outside the Pen

Most days, for nearly twelve hours a day, I am with Bow, inside the pens. But I do occasionally go outside, and when I do, this is what it looks like.

This was my front yard, yesterday morning. Everything is in bloom, and the birds are singing. I brought some redbud blossoms for Bow to try again, as they have fully opened up by now, and even the leaves are starting to come in.

Bow decided he would rather watch me eat the flowers than eat them himself. They taste fine, but it's just like salad: not enough calories to live off. Redbud would make a nice garnish, but not a meal.

The weather has gotten cooler this morning, so much so that I am wearing a jacket. Bow is sleepy, because the sky is cloudy and there is not that much light.

Earlier, I went out to the back yard to mow what grass we have left. I have not been taking care of the grass, and the dogs have worn out big patches. However, what remains needs to be kept fairly low. This gives me an opportunity to interact more with the dogs, but Bow feels left out.

Notice how when Bow rattles the grid, the pea plants shudder? I am not sure what to do about that. In the distance, we could occasionally hear gunshots. Our neighbors must be out hunting.This upset Bow a little, but the dogs did not care.

Brownie really wanted me to throw him a rock, so I complied.

Brownie was very happy that I threw him that rock, but he did not return it to me. He decided it was time to bury it. Leo just wanted to be petted.

I use a hand-pushed reel mower, which is good exercise, but I stop many times to look at things in the yard.

The dogwood is in full bloom now. The dogs look happy under its snowy blossoms.

Bow, on the other hand, was not always so happy while I was out in the yard. This is what he looked like from outside the pen.

This is the way most people view primates in zoos and sanctuaries. Even the people who work there as caretakers often do not get to go in.  It is not the best way to really get to know a chimpanzee and develop a long term relationship. But when we go inside, as I did, after I had mowed the grass, the grid disappears, and we see the real chimp.

Bow wanted me to groom him, so I did,  but now Leo was jealous. You can't please everyone all at once!


  1. I love everything flowering on your property. Nice view for Bow to enjoy.

    1. Thanks, Julia. We are having a bit of rain now, so everything is even greener than usual.

  2. Love the picture of the dogwood blooms. They are so pretty! Do you know the lore behind the dogwood tree? I had never heard it before, until Bob shared it with me yesterday. Funny, we've been married 23 years this coming June and yet, I still hear things from him that I never knew that he knew!
    Apparently, the wood from the dogwood tree was used to make the cross on which Jesus was crucified. So, the dogwood tree became cursed and was forevermore doomed to be a small, spindly tree that would never again grow large enough to be used for such a thing.
    Your redbuds are blooming so beautifully. The buds on mine are just starting to break...

    1. Hi, Kathy, no, I had not heard that story about the dogwood. It is a good thing that Bob has not shared all his lore with you at once, as that leaves new things to discover about him!