by Tim Ajax, Director
Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary
Some people monkey around a little, some people monkey around a lot, and then there's Tim. He's a prince among primates, presiding over hundreds of fellow bipeds in the often-brutal Texas outdoors. There's no ape escape for Tim and his crew, but no matter. They love to help macaques, baboons and vervets live out their lives with as much freedom as possible. And like peeling a banana, Tim's blogs take you to the good stuff inside — with a steady supplement of Texas weather updates, of course!
With ample rainfall over the winter and moderate temperatures for spring we had quite a show here. The diversity of plant life was impressive and the colors were brilliant. Everywhere we looked seas of yellow, orange, purple and red dominated the landscape providing plenty of stimulation for the monkeys and critical habitat for the native species. Even the trees got into the act with fresh-leaved mesquites glowing neon green.
The monkeys enjoy pulling, twisting, stripping and tasting the diverse plant life and spent hours sitting flat on their rumps with their legs out in front of them working over the foliage. Darting in and out of the thick underbrush they played at their version of “tag” seeming to appear from thin air when they exploded from cover.
Summer is rapidly approaching and the magic of spring is giving way to a browner world as all the flowers have gone to seed and the less heat-tolerant plants are dying back. There are still giant sunflowers in many areas so the landscape isn’t completely deprived of color but it’s only a shadow of what was.
We’ve had several excellent produce deliveries including some of last year’s favorite dessert mangos. Some items, like tomatoes, have been noticeably in short supply due to the earthquake in Chile while others, like avocados, have been fairly plentiful.
Our focus now turns to providing shade for our residents and this year we are installing shade sails to try to mitigate the effects of the south Texas sun. Shade sails are made of heavy duty UV-blocking fabric and are specially constructed to be tensioned. We think this will be a durable, lower-cost alternative to traditional shade structures. If you would like to help by donating a sail you can do a quick online search for “shade sails” or contact Ryan Newlin at www.greenhousemegastore.com, (888) 281-9337. Just mention that it’s for the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary and he will give you 5% to 7% off the price and provide free shipping to the sanctuary. Of course we will happily accept your online donation too!
Until next time...