July 13, 2009

There is a path that Misty and Dulary traverse nearly every day going from Dulary’s favorite dust pile to the pond.  From the constant traffic, the area had developed some pretty deep foot prints that were beginning to fill with water when it rained. In order to keep it from getting too mucky, it was decided to flatten it out with the bulldozer and top it off with a layer of sand.  Pretty straightforward, but not to the ladies— to them it also meant several days of play.  First, episodes of utter silliness with the bulldozer with bouts of restful watching scattered in between.  At one point, keeping true to form, Misty abruptly left the waterer, ran over to the newly developing dirt pile, and threw herself down on top of it.  Big piles of dirt appear to be wonderful for lying down and dusting at the same time.  The ladies have spent these few days exploring the changes that have taken place and seem to wholeheartedly approve.

Everyone is enjoying the rain, and with it, a nice cool-down. The Threesome stay out in the habitat longer each day and during the night, all seem to love playing in all the lovely mud.

Ronnie and Debbie still enjoy the habitat beyond the South Gate, and now with all the moisture, it’s like a little rain forest up there. Both ladies love the mud, and are frequently covered when a caregiver locates them to deliver a meal. We have been working on clearing some vegetation from along the fence lines, and Debbie is a great supervisor. While a caregiver moves along the opposite side trimming, she watches closely to let us know if we missed anything.

The Threesome have been utilizing more space as well, enjoying the long green grass in the Pond Yard right and the Night Yard pastures. They still love their sand piles, and dust regularly as they alternate with trips into the pond. Yesterday, Frieda and Billie were heading back through the Pond Yard toward the barn after their evening meal when a caregiver dropped a fresh bale of hay over in the Night Yard. Something in the air, perhaps, but both girls put their ears out, tails up (Frieda’s STRAIGHT up in the air), and began chirping, trumpeting, and spinning around in circles. Frieda did her version of an ele-sprint, as Billie led the way across the grass. Billie seemed so overcome with excitement that she had her tail and ears out, spun around backwards, then dipped her left shoulder toward the ground, put her face on the grass, and lifted her left hind leg all at the same time! She was so funny, and once just wasn’t enough, so she did the same thing again a few minutes later. Another caregiver heard the happy noises from inside the barn, and rushed to turn the ele-cam on to hopefully share this wonderful display of playfulness with the ele-cam viewers. Both caregivers watched the screen and laughed right out loud….what a way to end the day!

Minnie and Lottie, who have spent most of their time at or near the Upper Pond lately, have rediscovered the beauty and solitude of Field 7. They have had their meals delivered out there, and spend the days grazing on the deep green grasses, napping in the shade at the edge of the trees, and even venturing down into the creek bed to see what they can find. Miss Minnie seemed to be “feeling her oats” this morning, and nearly pranced along, head bobbing playfully, following the caregiver out for breakfast.