July 19, 2010

Thunder showers came this past week—finally!

The rain brought a lovely reprieve to elephants and caregivers alike. None of the Divas seemed that inclined to play but rather spent time just BEING in the rain. When it begins to rain, and the water runs down the girls' backs and faces, it appears to this caregiver as if the elephants have suddenly donned cowls and capes. They could not be better attired if attending a costume party and all going as Batman. As the rain continues, however, the look of capes vanish and the cowl shapes meld together. Soon the Girls are simply a very dark, wet gray color of their own unique shapes, unadorned.
After a couple of dry, dusty weeks in the Asian habitat, the rains meant lots of mud. Dulary and Misty wore their usual 4-inch thick coating of mud, with Dulary's being mostly on the top of her head forming multi-sized mini towers. Misty's coating covered the side of her body where she had been napping, with an extra-thick layer on the side of her face. Shirley was clean during the day, but for two consecutive nights at the 10:00 p.m. feed, she was coated in mud. While Tarra was contentedly grazing in Right Field, Shirley was lying down, with every inch of her body coated in mud. Ten feet away from her lay one of the big mud holes, showing all sorts of feet and body prints throughout. It seems nothing sets off a good nap like coating yourself in mud. However, by morning feed, Shirley would look perfectly clean again, as if she had never touched the earthy slush.



The garden also seemed to enjoy the benefits from downpours, as we picked our first big crop of tomatoes this week. There were about 30 ripe tomatoes, with plenty more green ones where those came from. We have a constant supply of beans, our purple hull peas are starting to turn purple, and our corn is almost ready as well.
This week while we were pulling some routine blood procedures with all the Girls, in Africa apparently Tange did not get the memo, because she decided not to go along with the plan. Instead, she had a "back-up" plan: get some treats, sniff Scott and back-up. Then, come back, get some treats, sniff Scott some more and back-up. Her next plan was to walk forward, act like the treat bucket was not there, pick some grass, get the bucket ... and yes, you guessed it, back up. All in all, it was a clever "back-up" plan.

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