April 12, 2010
On Tuesday Sissy and Winkie joined up with Tarra down by the lake. Sissy always seems a little reserved when it comes to going down the hill to the lake, although it is not steep. After a few moments of hesitation that morning, she decided it was fine. Half-way down she came upon Tire, which had been thrown there by the bush hog. She decided to take Tire down with her to the meadow, at the bottom of the hill. At about the same point, Winkie turned around to walk down the rest of the way backwards. After realizing the descent was easier than she thought, she turned around and walked the remainder downhill in her normal way. When they got to the bottom, Tarra and Bella were waiting. The three proceeded to graze and graze and graze, ears flapping, with "happy noises" breaking up the silence intermittently. Sissy also wandered over to the creek and splashed around for a while. The three were left in the same pasture calmly eating, enjoying the sun and each other's company.
When it was time for the 5 p.m. feed, Sis and Winks were still grazing away in one of the pastures on the other side of the creek, while Tarra had headed more toward the lake. Sis and Winks were back around the barn at the late feed, but it was good that they spent the day near the lake. It is not an area they usually frequent as they stay more on the north side of the property. Besides just being somewhere different, the grass is lush, they spent some quality time with Tarra, and they were comfortable enough to stay all day. Sissy decided it was fine for Tire to stay in the meadow, that she didn't need it, so she returned without it.
As always, Minnie is the first to point out flaws in construction. There were a few weak places in our brand-new fence line, and Minnie was quick to bring them to our attention. Unfortunately, this resulted in both Lottie and Minnie being shut out of their biggest yard again while repairs were made. The ladies tolerated this patiently, looking with wistful longing over the fence at the big yard. Thankfully, the fence crew made the repairs quickly. Minnie and Lottie had to be patient for only a few days. They again have access to the great, wide pasture. Grazing has been the chief activity since they went back out there.
Now that the warm spring days have arrived the African girls have been staying out in the habitat, at some distance from the barn. Several times a day caregivers take produce and grain out to Tange and Flora and sometimes find them quietly dozing in the sunshine or resting among the trees. At other times the girls are found energetically working on their big habitat-improvement project by knocking down trees and bushes to eat, which creates the beginnings of a savannah. Their taste in trees and even different parts of trees varies, though pine seems to be a frequent choice. Cypress is not usually eaten, though Flora has been seen eating the cypress roots.