December 21, 2009

The “3-sum” Liz, Billie-Sue and Frieda, make their way out of the barn each day for a check on the winter weather. After sharing a bale of hay and a few hours of quality time on their grassy hill and at their sand pile hangout, they often find their way back to a warm clean barn, fresh hay, and a drink of slightly warmed water from the hose. At evening feed on Wednesday, our creative Frieda reminded her caregivers that she has quite a sense of humor. After she drank her fill of warm water from the hose, she quickly and conveniently wrapped the hose tightly around one of the bars of her stall and tied it into a knot! As elephants and caregivers alike looked at this work of art, Frieda stood before it wearing her proud face. Way to go Frieda!
 
The somewhat consistent arrival of more winter-like weather finds all the Divas spending a little more time in the comfort of the toasty warm barn. Mornings are a bit slower, as they aren’t terribly motivated to venture outside just yet. Many times, Lottie is the first to head out, and even keeps going toward the back pastures as Minnie insists on waiting to see what Debbie is going to do. Usually, not long after Lottie leaves the barn, Ronnie decides to go and find any stash of hay that may have been set out for her. She throws the occasional look backwards to see if Debbie is following yet, but is quite happy to follow a caregiver out to the night yard extension to have her breakfast. Eventually, Debbie comes out once she sees she’s all alone, and joins Ronnie in their morning meal, hopefully in a sunny spot! Minnie also heads out around the time Debbie leaves, and slowly but surely makes her way out to where ever the caregiver fed Lottie, and then they enjoy their morning hay in the sunshine, as it has finally risen above the tree line to give them a warm spot to eat.
 
This Saturday, all of the ladies in Asia were in “silly mode.” In the morning, Tarra and Shirley were the first to leave the barn.  Once outside, Tarra starting barking and backing up with her foot out and then let out a string of “baby trumpets.” These are not their full volume usual trumpets; these are tiny little trumpets that sound like they would come out of a mini elephants. She did some short ones and then strung a couple together while Shirley joined in with some trunk noises of her own. When hay was being brought out to the ladies, Sis and Winks followed out to where Shirley was, almost at a jog. As they approached Shirley, she turned her back towards them, but did not leave—it seemed more like she was bracing herself for impact, just in case the ladies didn’t slow down. Sis and Winks started in with their trunk noises and Winkie’s little “ooooh” sounds. They then ran over into the pasture with Sissy spinning and trumpeting, Winkie stringing together her “ooohs” and throwing in some belching noises for good measure (which she almost never makes). This continued on for several minutes; afterwards, the girls mellowed and all three stayed together sharing hay. When hay was brought out to Misty and Dulary, Misty was already lying down in the mud (no surprise there). So when the four-wheeler approached, she hurriedly got up, and along with Dulary, raced down the hill, slipping, sliding, “grunting” and “belching” the whole way. And to finish it off, lots of trumpets and very loud rumbles when they arrived at their hay. Some days the girls just don’t let you forget, life is wonderful.
 
Cold sunny weather is a bit tricky to play in. It seems the African Girls are mixed between sun bathing or playing with the Tire. One day they chose the Tire; first, Flora had it flipping it into the air like a paper plate— once it hits the ground it goes rolling, rolling, and rolling as if it has an engine in it. Then Tange would put it on her trunk and run down the road, Flora would try to get it back but Tange is too quick; she would hold it into the air and run a little farther down the road then she would put it on her back, underneath her, roll it, flip it, throw it—then suddenly, as if a bell rang, she would stop and walk away and return to sun bathing.  Next week they will get the big Blue Ball….

Happy Holidays to one and all and thank you for all of your loving support in these challenging times.