August 14: The Fence Is the Way to Travel
So no new surprise as to how the day began. The family crossed to Holly Hill at 7:07 a.m. via the low black walnut, where they went straight into the bench holly. Soon Laranja tried to get the family to follow her to the shed holly and after a few failed attempts was able to coax the family to follow her down there. Upon their journey back from the shed holly the whole family crossed back to Beaver Valley for their morning meal at 11:28 a.m. They all used the low black walnut for the cross and came down to the fence which they used to get over to the food tray. As usual it was a quick bite to eat before crossing back to Holly Hill at 11:41 a.m.
Eduardo tried something new on the cross back. He used the fence to get over to the low black walnut! I have not seen anyone take the fence for the cross back to Holly Hill. Up until today, the family has only used the fence on its return to Beaver Valley. Eduardo got to the fence by coming out really far on the lowest branch of the hemlock to the right of tree four. From this branch he hopped to the sign below it and then ran down the fence to the low black walnut which he then scurried up and ran across quickly entering the bench holly. Laranja and the girls watched Eduardo's little feat here, however they all used the ropes to get to the low black walnut, following Eduardo into the bench holly.
The rest of the afternoon on Holly Hill was then spent in the bench holly playing, grooming, and foraging. Gisela was occasionally carried by Eduardo throughout the afternoon, though not by Eduardo's choice. We're not entirely sure why, but Gisela has been jumping on Eduardo's back lately and insisting on being carried by him. I haven't seen much resistance from him when she does do this, however if she continues to make this a more frequent occurrence I suspect he will put an end to it. It was finally time to cross back to Beaver Valley for the day a little after 3 p.m. The rest of the afternoon was pretty low key with the family just hanging out around tree zero, in the hemlocks and tree four. The twins played for a while before heading back to the nest box around 5:30 p.m. When the watchers left at 6:30 p.m. to attend the mid-year meeting everyone was inside the nest box, though all were still awake.
August 15: Does That Monkey Have a Driver's License?
The morning was the same as always with a cross to Holly Hill, time spent in the bench holly before venturing down to the shed holly, then back to bench holly. What made this morning different from others were two things. First, Eduardo initially crossed to Holly Hill at 7:03 a.m. by himself via tree five into the high black walnut. He soon crossed back the same way at 7:27 a.m. as the rest of the family had not followed him over. After crossing back however, the girls finally decided it was time to cross over and the whole family crossed together with Gisela leading the way across the low black walnut at 7:41 a.m. The second difference was that the family never crossed back for breakfast as they normally do sometime between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. After spending the better portion of the morning in the shed holly and the early afternoon among the dense covering of the bench holly the family finally crossed back around 1:10 p.m. along the low black walnut to the fence, which the whole family took back. The remainder of the day was spent in Beaver Valley, playing and lounging among the hemlocks, tree zero and tree four. Just as we all thought we were going to have a relaxing afternoon, Eduardo led the family on a fun little expedition.
The new director of FONZ, Bob Lamb, came down to the exhibit with Jennifer around 4 p.m. today to see what our free-range program is all about. He and Jennifer came down in a golf cart, which the director parked right next to the fence in front of the low black walnut. No one really thought anything of this, as the family was showing off in the hemlocks, giving not only the director a great view, but the public as well. Everyone was enjoying the view when all of a sudden Eduardo got an itch to come down to the fence. He came out quite far on the lowest branch of the hemlock again, just like yesterday and hopped to the fence. From here he started making his way down toward the low black walnut and the golf cart. Gisela quickly followed behind Eduardo, as she can't be too far away from dad, and perhaps it appeared to her that dad had a fun little adventure up his sleeve. Soon Samba was following these two and eventually Laranja came to the fence as well. Before we knew it, all four were down by the golf cart with Eduardo eyeing it constantly. It really appeared like he desperately wanted to jump on top of the cart to explore what this foreign object was. Finally he made the leap to the roof of the cart and ran all over the top!
Once Eduardo had been on the cart, the whole family wanted to join in the fun and check out this fun new playground. For about 15 minutes the whole family kept jumping from the fence to the cart and back to the fence again. The twins both occasionally came to the ground and foraged a bit underneath the cart's wheels. At several points throughout this excursion all four monkeys were on the cart. At one point one was on the roof, one on the steering wheel, one in the driver's seat, and one foraging in the back. Does anyone know if the monkeys have their license? A huge crowd had gathered, as no one had ever seen monkeys overrun a golf cart before. Zoo visitors got some great photos of the GLTs, but our staff was unable to get any photos, as no one had a camera. Between five volunteers, Jennifer, and me, no one had a camera to document this hilarious little adventure. While this was quite a scene and fun to watch, the director of FONZ had to take back control of his vehicle. The monkeys, however, were showing no signs of giving the golf cart back anytime soon, and Laranja was starting to make her way down toward tree nine and farther, in the opposite direction of the nest box. Therefore, I coaxed them back into their exhibit with a PVC pipe filled with mealworms. Eduardo quickly caught sight of this and ran after me, followed closely by the twins. Laranja, on the other hand, was a little more reluctant to follow me, but soon she too was making her way back into the exhibit for the mealworm treat. After all this excitement the rest of the evening was fairly low key hanging out around the nest box. All monkeys were inside the box and asleep by 7 p.m. It had been quite an exciting a busy day. Learning how to drive can take a lot out of you!
August 16: A Garden Exploration
It was a pretty relaxed day in terms of new activities and activity levels. The family crossed as usual to Holly Hill at 7:18 a.m. via the low black walnut and immediately entered the bench holly. They only stayed in the bench holly for about half an hour before moving down to the shed holly where they rested for awhile before venturing beyond this holly. Around 10:45 a.m. the whole family moved passed the shed holly toward Olmsted Walk and into the trees in the garden. Here the whole family was difficult to see for both watchers and so we are not entirely sure what they were doing in these trees. Presumably though they were foraging and just exploring this area. It was a quick exploration however, as the family headed back to the bench holly around 11:15 a.m. before Gisela led them back for a quick bite to eat a few minutes later.
At 12:23 p.m. it was time to get back to the bench holly. The whole family crossed back to Holly Hill via the low black walnut after a brief stop at tree nine. The rest of the afternoon was spent mostly in a monkey ball in the bench holly. A little before 3:45 p.m. Laranja led the family back to Beaver Valley for the evening where everyone played and foraged among tree three and its surrounding trees before heading back to the nest box at 5:45 p.m. The whole family was inside the nest box by 6:30 p.m. and all were asleep at 7 p.m. It was a fairly typical day without too much excitement.
August 17: Is That Nest Ours?
Today was pretty similar to yesterday; however, we observed an interesting excursion by the whole adventuresome family in the afternoon. The cross over to Holly Hill was a little different this morning compared to the usual pattern for crossing. Eduardo departed from the family and used tree five to cross over into the high black walnut. Laranja and the girls were quick to follow him over though, crossing at 7:03 a.m., only three minutes after Eduardo, though they crossed via the low black walnut. No high jumps for the girls today. After spending some time in the bench holly it was off to the shed holly led by Gisela. Unfortunately two deer came running through Holly Hill just as the family was moving down to the shed holly, which deterred the family from advancing any further for a while. Everyone actually went running back to tree 33 before Eduardo finally led the whole family into the shed holly at 8:41 a.m. The family stayed in the shed holly until about 11:30 a.m., when they made their way back to Beaver Valley. While in the shed holly the family frequently came down to the roof of the shed to forage.
At 11:45 a.m. everyone crossed back to Beaver Valley for breakfast via the low black walnut on theway back from the shed holly. When it was time to cross back to Holly Hill, Eduardo, again crossed via tree five into the high black walnut at 11:56 a.m. He must not have been very hungry, as he quickly ate before immediately crossing back. Again, Laranja and the girls did not want to follow Eduardo's crossing route, so they all went down to the low black walnut and crossed back this way at 11:58 a.m. Time was spent foraging, playing and lounging around the bench holly for the remainder of the afternoon before crossing back to Beaver Valley briefly at 2:32 p.m. Only the twins took the fence back this afternoon and Eduardo and Laranja surprisingly used the ropes to get back. Gisela stopped at the kiosk for awhile on her way back to forage and check out the sample nest box. Everyone had a little lunch before Eduardo led the family on a new adventure after battling approximately ten crows.
Around 3 p.m. Eduardo got the itch for Holly Hill and ran up tree five for his afternoon departure to Holly Hill. As he was bounding up the tree about ten crows were beginning to land in tree five, which stopped Eduardo dead in his tracks. He was not stopped for long. He started to slowly make his way up farther and farther, trying to scare the crows away. He was successful in driving one away that was perched on this crossing branch; however, one small monkey just didn't seem to be intimidating enough to scare away the whole crowd. Soon all the crows left on their own and Eduardo was able to make his cross. Samba and Gisela had been carefully watching Eduardo and ended up following him over to Holly Hill via tree five as well. Laranja also ended up joining the family on Holly Hill, though she was more reluctant than the twins to make the cross. She hesitated quite a bit, almost as if she was nervous about making the jump from tree five into the high black walnut, but she eventually took the plunge and joined the rest of the family.
Everyone spent only a few minutes in the bench holly before our timid little Gisela showed off her braveness and led the family down to the Tupelo tree. At first we all suspected that the whole family was going to come down the trunk and cross back to Beaver Valley on the ground, as Eduardo has done in the past, but instead of heading down they all ventured up! The whole family spent a long time foraging and exploring all over the top of the tupelo and they all even climbed into a squirrel's or crow's nest that is high up in this tree. Samba was particularly interested in this nest continually jumping in and out of it and foraging a ton. They all stayed in the Tupelo until about 5 p.m. when they headed back toward the magnolias, where they all ended up crossing back to Beaver Valley along the low black walnut around 5:15 p.m. Once back they all had a snack from their food tray near tree 4 and then retired to their nest box and tree zero for the rest of the evening. Everyone was inside the box and asleep for the last scan of the evening. What an adventurous day it turned out to be with little Gisela showing off her courage!
August 18: Crow Curiosity
Curiosity in the nest in the tupelo tree on Holly Hill struck again today. Around 3:30 p.m. Eduardo again went chasing after some crows that were in the tupelo tree, and the whole family followed him, exploring high up in the tree. Other than this little excursion, today followed relatively the same pattern as the rest of the days this week, though we did see Eduardo carrying Gisela for short periods of time throughout the day.
The whole family crossed this morning at 7:06 a.m. via the low black walnut and headed straight for the bench holly. Around 7:30 a.m. Laranja tried to get the family to follow her to the shed holly though her attempts were unsuccessful until 8:10 a.m., when everyone finally followed her down there. The family came out to some trees again before being called back to the shed holly by a gardener who had entered their area to get some things from the shed. This stressed the family out as it has in the past and caused them to come running back to the shed holly, presumably to defend what they consider their territory! Shortly after this disruption, it was time to head back to the bench holly before crossing back to Beaver Valley for some breakfast.
At 11:12 a.m. the whole family crossed back to Beaver Valley briefly before returning to the bench holly. No one used the fence, but instead everyone took the ropes over to the food tray. This was a first in quite some time! On the cross back Eduardo and Samba briefly stopped off at tree nine before crossing over in the low black walnut as Laranja and Gisela had just done. Except for the trip to the tupelo tree the rest of the afternoon was spent playing and foraging in the bench holly before crossing back for the day a little after 4 p.m. Once back in their main exhibit the whole family ate some lunch and then lounged around tree three and its surrounding trees until about 6:15 p.m. when everyone was finally inside their nest box for the evening. By 6:30 p.m. everyone was out for the night in one big monkey ball!
August 19: Weekend Getaway
Nothing new happened today. It was a pretty low-key day and an early day back from Holly Hill. The only activity the family did today that is not typical of every day was a visit to the vacation home (tree nine) around 5 p.m. They all went inside for about 15 minutes before heading back to the nest box for the evening. Compared to last weekend this getaway was a quick one, but I guess they have this luxury when their vacation home is so close by. It appeared that Eduardo wanted to cross back to Holly Hill on his way back to the nest box; however, the rest of the family had already passed by the low black walnut long ago and were back in tree zero, so Eduardo finally went back to them. No wild plans for Eduardo this Saturday evening.
Other than this late evening adventure, the day was same old, same old with a cross to Holly Hill at 6:55 a.m., led by Laranja along the low black walnut. After about 45 minutes in the bench holly everyone took a journey to the shed holly, where they spent the majority of their morning. As we have seen the past several days the family ventured close to the public again for about ten minutes and then went back into the shed hollyâ€� Finally around 12:30 p.m. the GLTs made their way back to the bench holly where they spent about another hour lounging and resting before crossing back to Beaver Valley at 1:35 p.m. Eduardo departed from the family and crossed back to Holly Hill by himself around 2 p.m., but soon came back to Beaver Valley as the rest of the family did not follow him. Except for the brief journey down to tree nine the rest of the afternoon was spent as usual, among the hemlocks, tree three, and tree five. Once the family returned from tree nine, everyone was soon in the nest box for the evening at 6 p.m., and all were asleep by 7 p.m. except for Eduardo, who was beginning to doze off. It's funny how the weekends are often low key for the family, as they are for many humans.
August 20: A Great Day Among the Hollies
The morning on Holly Hill today was the same as it is every day, except there was not a cross back for food until 12:35 p.m. and after this cross the family stayed in Beaver Valley for several hours before crossing back to Holly Hill for a second time. As usual, we saw the morning begin in the bench holly after the family crossed to Holly Hill at 7:16 a.m. and then they moved down to the shed holly for the rest of the morning around 8:15 a.m. After crossing back for food the family spent some time among the hemlocks, tree three, and tree five, foraging, grooming, and just hanging out. During this time in their main exhibit I was able to obtain weights on Eduardo and the twins, however, Laranja was reluctant to come down to the scale today, staying back while the rest of the family ate the treats on the scale. Normally she comes down right behind Eduardo, who is always the first down to the scale, so I am not sure why she was so hesitant today.
After spending some time in their main exhibit it was back to Holly Hill at 3:10 p.m. to see what was going on over there. The whole family followed Eduardo up tree five and used this tree to cross into the high black walnut. Shortly after their cross the sky began to darken and the temperature dropped. For about an hour it looked as if the sky was going to open up at any minute and rain would pour down. This change in weather may have caused Laranja's desire to cross back to Beaver Valley as she tried for 45 minutes or more to get the family to follow her back to the main exhibit. Around 4:15 p.m., the sun came back out and the rest of the evening was sunny and mild. It never actually rained, but we received a few very light sprinkles, which the family probably didn't even feel underneath the dense covering of the bench holly, which they stayed in the whole time they were on Holly Hill. Finally, a little after 5 p.m. Laranja was able to get the family to follow her back across the low black walnut. As usual, the whole family took the fence back, but quickly made their way to the nest box and tree zero where they spent the rest of the evening. At 7 p.m. everyone was inside the nest box, though Eduardo was still awake. A fairly typical day today, though it was a late day on Holly Hill.
I think that everyone can agree that the GLTs have yet to bore us with their adventures each week. While they have many typical habits and favorite hangouts, they still manage to add in new adventures each week, so just as we think we've figured out their schedule, they throw a monkey wrench into the mix! From exploring a golf cart to investigating a crow's nest, the family has definitely shown us its curiosity this week. We'll have to wait and see where this curiosity leads the GLTs next week. For now, enjoy this issue and the monkey watching.