March 28, 2011

There was much excitement in the Phase I yard the other day. As a caregiver drove up to the barn on the 4-wheeler, Frieda got very excited and animated. With ears and tail sticking straight out, Frieda issued her airy little trumpets and great, rumbling bellows. Then she proceeded to run in little circles, continuing to make a huge racket. Billie, who was on her way up the hill at the time, froze mid-step for a few seconds, as if she were paralyzed by Frieda's joyous noises. Billie turned around and came running down the hill to join her friend. The pair of them twirled, with Billie's squeaks and boisterous trumpets adding to the noise. Finally, Lizzie decided to come down the hill too, although she didn’t seem to be in as big a hurry. When Liz eventually met up with her friends, Frieda changed to her signature "whale song" greeting.

This past week, summer gave us a peek at what is to come, and it was delightful. The temperatures reached the 80s during the day and remained in the 50s at night, motivating all of the Girls in Asia to sleep outdoors for the first time this year.

Shirley and Tarra headed down Lake Road Hill in the middle of the night, and were found in the pastures across the creek first thing the next morning. One of the Sanctuary’s wonderful maintenance guys, Wade, spent several days bush hogging these pastures last week, cutting down all the old dry sage grass and clearing out blackberry bushes, which opened up these pastures for more fresh grass growth and grazing. In this area, bush hogging is a slow, tedious process that involves carefully avoiding trees and larger saplings that provide shade and food, but the results were phenomenal. The meadows are almost completely green and the Girls delighted in the spring grasses available to them. Another benefit of cutting fields is finding the surprises hidden beneath the tall grass: Wade also discovered a few of Bella’s water bowls and food bins that got lost here last year.

Over the next couple of days, Shirley and Tarra ventured up through Oak Tree pasture, the woods above them, and then through the Blackberry Gauntlet.

Sissy and Winkie spent the night in one of their favorite spots, Dr. Scott's pasture. Here, some Elecam viewers had the opportunity to see them grazing, Sissy napping, and both Girls drinking and swimming in the pond, followed by a sunset shot of the two of them finishing dinner in front of the pond while the sky faded into hues of crimsons and pinks. The next morning, Winkie greeted her caregiver with trunk taps and happy noises, letting them know how pleased she was with her first evening sleeping in the soft grasses.

 
Misty and Dulary


Dulary and Misty spent their first night out as well, and the next day some Elecam viewers had the opportunity to catch these two taking their first swim of the year after spending an afternoon with Shirley and Tarra. Dulary and Misty are still not wandering out as far as the other Girls, but the warmer weather has just now arrived, so we are hoping they might follow their sisters soon on a nice long walk. While the phenomenal temperatures were a nice tease, early spring reality has now returned, bringing the Girls back to their warm barns for a little while longer.