August 21: What's Behind the Nest Box?
The middle of the day today was quite relaxed as several hours were spent mostly in a monkey ball in bench holly. As usual we saw an early cross today at 6:59 a.m. with Laranja and the girls taking the low black walnut and Eduardo possibly crossing from tree five, although no one really knows how he got over to Holly Hill. Only a short time was spent in the bench holly before wandering down to the shed holly a little before 7:45 a.m. The family stayed in shed holly until about 9:15 a.m. when it made its way back to the bench holly before crossing back for food at 9:51 a.m., when everyone took the fence. While down in the shed holly, the whole family ventured toward Olmsted Walk, though monkeys never made it all the way to Olmsted. These trips were brief but Gisela led the way to explore a bit several times throughout their hour and a half down there.
After a quick bite to eat, Eduardo led the way back to Holly Hill at 10:09 a.m. The afternoon was spent in the bench holly, resting and playing, with lots of monkey ball sightings. At 2:48 p.m. it was time to return to Beaver Valley for the day and Laranja and the girls used the fence to get over to the food tray. Once back in Beaver Valley most of the family's time was spent in tree zero and the rope between tree zero and tree four, however, several times the family became curious as to what lay in the trees behind tree zero, and they ventured into some trees and explored. The family did not stay there long however, as everyone was back in tree zero for the evening by 6 p.m. At 7 p.m. all were fast asleep in the nest box recuperating from a typical, but eventful day.
August 22: What a View From Olmsted Walk!
Today began as all days do, with a cross to the bench holly at 7:10 a.m. Before long it was off to shed holly, however, we were all soon led on a little exploration voyage down toward Olmsted Walk. As she has been doing lately, at about 9 a.m. Gisela led the way past the shed holly into the magnolia and pine trees. Shortly after this, the whole family began showing some interest in the garden and made its way into the trees at the far corner of the garden. After foraging and exploring all over the trees here for about half an hour the whole family took off for the holly tree at the corner of Olmsted and Tamarin Run. The family was very curious, running all over the tree both up and down. Before long there were two squirrels in the tree and Eduardo tried chasing after them, though Laranja's position in the holly prevented the squirrels from running to the ground to escape the family of GLTs surrounding them. Eventually the squirrels ran off and the family continued to forage and explore this new area. While the family had briefly been down to this holly once before this season, this was the most time we have seen all the GLTs camp out here for a while. After about 45 minutes of playing along the trees near Olmsted Walk the family slowly moved back to the shed holly before finally going back to the bench holly at 11 a.m.
After this voyage the rest of the day was fairly typical. At 11:48 a.m. the whole family crossed back to Beaver Valley taking the low black walnut to the fence. After grabbing a bite to eat it was off to tree nine, where everyone disappeared inside for a few minutes before crossing back to Holly Hill at 12:35 p.m. With the vacation home so close to the crossing path, why not stop in for a minute to make sure everything is OK and in good shape? The rest of the day was spent in the bench holly lounging and running all over. Gisela became very curious at one point when she noticed a squirrel that was eating a black walnut. Gisela saw the squirrel peel the skin off of the walnut and then begin eating it and this seemed to intrigue her quite a bit, as she chased after the squirrel and got within four feet of it before the squirrel ran away. Who ever thought we'd see this brave, adventurous side of Gisela?
Around 3:30 p.m. the family came back to Beaver Valley for the day, taking the low black walnut to the fence. The rest of the afternoon was relaxed with the family playing, eating, and relaxing among tree zero and tree three. By 5:45 p.m. everyone was in tree zero and all were inside the nest box asleep by 7 p.m. Not quite as action-packed as last week's Tuesday exploration of the golf cart, but still an interesting and eventful day!
August 23: Breakfast Can Wait
There was only one cross to Holly Hill today! The family crossed as usual around 7 a.m. but made the most of its time on Holly Hill before crossing back to Beaver Valley a little after 1 p.m. The day on Holly Hill was a typical day with a couple hours spent in the bench holly before going down to the shed holly. However, before entering the shed holly Gisela led the family past the shed into the magnolias and pines using the trees close to the path by the elephant yards to get down there. Usually they take the trees in the center of Holly Hill, including tree 33, but today perhaps there was something more interesting along the path. The family spent about an hour in the shed holly before traveling back to the bench holly where it spent another two hours before finally crossing back for some food. The monkeys must have found quite a few insects on Holly Hill to tide them over, or perhaps they just weren't very hungry today.
After crossing back, of course, the first task was to have a bite to eat, but after everyone was full it was a typical day among the hemlocks, tree zero and tree three, playing and resting. No one showed any interest in the fence or crossing back to Holly Hill this afternoon, though the whole family did take a quick trip up the back side of tree zero, crossing into some trees around 4:45 p.m. The family spent about ten minutes foraging and exploring high up in these trees before coming back down and into tree zero for the evening. The rest of the afternoon was very low key. The most excitement we got, other than the twins wrestling inside the nest box, was when one of our poor watchers, who is allergic to bee stings, got stung by a yellow jacket. Of course, we sent her home to take care of the situation and we all felt so bad for her! The GLTs had no idea what excitement was going on with us humans and they just continued to lounge around tree zero and the nest box before all going inside the around 6:30 p.m.
August 24: Holly Hill Heaven
It was a long day on Holly Hill today! This morning, at 6:58 a.m., Laranja led the way over to Holly Hill via the low black walnut and into the bench holly, where the family remained for about an hour before chasing four deer down to the shed holly. A little before 8 a.m. four deer including two fawns ran through Holly Hill toward Olmsted Walk and Eduardo felt the need to be a brave little monkey and chase these deer away, so he went running after them. There were lots of predator calls during this time and the whole family followed Eduardo as he made a mad dash after the deer. It appeared that the family was successful at driving these deer away; however, it is likely that the deer were just passing through and left on their own, not because Eduardo is such a scary monkey. Once the deer left, the family settled down in the shed holly for quite some time. Around 10 a.m. everyone took a short trip down into the garden, but soon returned to the shed holly for about another hour and a half before going back to the bench holly. It wasn't until about 1 p.m. that the family finally crossed back for some food. They must have found a lot of insects to feast on over on Holly Hill to keep them full until this late hour. They all crossed via the low black walnut and took the fence back, as usual.
After filling their bellies to the brim they headed down to tree nine, where everyone went inside. They all remained inside this home away from home for about half an hour before Eduardo and Laranja finally came out and headed for the low black walnut. The twins were still inside the vacation home, having no idea their parents were ready to cross back to Holly Hill. Eduardo crossed over at 1:45 p.m., leaving the girls behind and not looking back for a second. Laranja, however, showed off her excellent mothering skills and waited patiently in the low black walnut for her daughters to catch up. Gisela was the first to venture out and find mom. Finally Samba emerged from the tree hole and slowly made her way over to Laranja and her sister. Once everyone was reunited the girls all crossed over at 1:57 p.m.
The family spent some time in the bench holly before the twins moved over to the magnolia and pine trees next to the bench holly and began their games of chase and wrestling on the ground (Grids Ak, Al, Bk, Bl). Laranja and Eduardo followed their girls over to this area and came real low on some trees, bookending the girls as they played. It appears that the parents do this to protect the girls, since the ground is not supposed to be a safe place to play. Such responsible parents! Finally around 4:30 p.m. it was time to return to Beaver Valley for the day. Everyone crossed back along the low black walnut and took the fence. Everyone had some to eat after crossing and then the rest of the afternoon was spent with the twins playing among the hemlocks while the parents relaxed. After all the adventures of the day the family returned to tree zero rather early at 5:45 p.m., though everyone was not asleep until 7 p.m. Those twins are just bundles of energy that keep going and going!!
August 25: How Big Am I?
Today we saw a little bit of a different schedule, however there were no new places visited today. The family still crossed as they normally do to Holly Hill at 7:18 a.m.; however they all crossed via tree five into the high black walnut. They all stayed in the bench holly the entire morning, except for a quick voyage to the top of the Tupelo tree at 10:45 a.m. Around 8:15 a.m. the family did begin to travel down toward the shed holly though it was soon deterred by a man trimming some tree branches, so it returned to the bench holly. There was lots of activity in the bench holly this morning with a lot of squirrel interactions that caused the family to chatter a lot! There was also lots of grooming, playing, and just running around. Around 12:30 p.m. the family finally crossed back to Beaver Valley via the low black walnut to the fence. It was a quick bite to eat before traveling down to the vacation home (tree nine) very briefly and then crossing back to Holly Hill along the low black walnut a little before 1 p.m.
After crossing, it was straight for the shed holly. This is the first time I have seen the family travel down to the shed holly this late in the day. Typically the shed holly is a morning voyage. The family relaxed here and played a bit, but around 2:45 p.m. it started heading down to the bench holly. The monkeys were in the bench holly for only a few minutes before they all crossed back to Beaver Valley a little before 3:30 p.m. It was straight for the food trays right after the cross and then time was spent grooming and relaxing among tree three and tree zero. I was able to obtain weights today on the family after its cross and it does not appear that Laranja is pregnant at the moment, or at least not very far a long if she is. So for those of you hoping she would give birth outside this season, it will probably not happen. The twins are growing so much, and are now about half the size of the adults, approximately 350 grams.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty relaxed and spent among tree zero. By 7 p.m. everyone was inside the nest box and sleeping together in a monkey ball.
August 26: Who Needs the Bench Holly?
We saw another afternoon trip to the shed holly today around 12 p.m. after the family crossed back to Holly Hill for the second time. The morning was fairly typical, with the family crossing around 7:20 a.m. to the bench holly. Eduardo crossed about ten miinutes before the rest of the family via tree five to the high black walnut. Laranja and the girls went down to the low black walnut to cross. After about 45 minutes in the bench holly the family started to make its way toward the shed holly, though it passed right by and spent most of the morning in other trees, probably spending a lot of time foraging up there. It's pretty difficult to see the GLTs when they get into these pine and magnolia trees because they go up so high that neither watcher has a good view of them. The watcher on the path by the elephant yards cannot see them at all when they are in these trees.
A little before 11:30 a.m. everyone crossed back for some breakfast, but quickly crossed back to Holly Hill after a quick visit to tree nine. Once again, Gisela was left behind and Eduardo had to come to her rescue. He carried her a few feet and then gave up—she is just too big! After crossing they headed straight for the shed holly where they spent the rest of the afternoon. Around 3:15 p.m. the family quickly entered the bench holly for about 15 minutes, but then everyone crossed at 3:35 p.m. using the low black walnut to the fence. The twins spent some time foraging around the video kiosk, but soon moved on to the food tray. The rest of the afternoon was spent eating and the girls played a bit, but it was an early evening. Everyone was beginning to wind down for the day around 5:30 p.m. and all were inside the nest box by 6 p.m. going in an out of sleep for the rest of the 5 to 7 shift. At 7 p.m. when the watchers left all were asleep except for Laranja.
August 27: Ready, Set, Wrestle!
There have been quite a bit of squirrel encounters this week, mostly in the bench holly, and this morning was no exception. After the crossing to the bench holly at 7:23 a.m., a squirrel entered the holly and this riled up the family, who began chattering a lot. Some even followed the squirrel, intrigued by it. However, Gisela became scared at one point and jumped onto Eduardo's back! The family stayed in the bench holly until about 9 a.m. when it traveled toward Olmsted Walk. Again, like yesterday, the GLTs passed right by the shed holly and foraged and explored in the magnolia and pine trees. They all went into the far corner of the garden for a while as well, which they have visited a lot lately. This whole area near Olmsted Walk has become one of their daily hangouts. Around 10:30 a.m. they all finally entered the shed holly where they stayed running around and playing until about 12:15 p.m. when it was time to visit the bench holly again.
Shortly after 1 p.m. the family crossed back for some food and all used the fence as their path of choice. The family was quite active in its main exhibit area spending time in the hemlocks, tree 2A, and the trees surrounding tree three. The girls spent the afternoon foraging and playing, usually wrestling or chase, which seem to be their favorites, while mom and dad lounged and explored themselves, occasionally foraging. It looked as if it might be an afternoon in Beaver Valley, but then a little after 3:15 p.m. Eduardo led the way back to Holly Hill via tree five. The twins quickly followed him, however, Laranja got left behind and she was quite distressed for a while, continually long calling. Finally she used tree five to cross and join the family in bench holly. The family stayed lounging around the holly until about 4:30 p.m. when the twins came to the ground for one of their wrestling matches. They ran all over the ground, hopping and galloping from tree to ground. As usual, the parents came really low in the trees on either side of the girls while they gallivanted around. Shortly after 5 p.m. Gisela had had enough games of chase and was ready to cross back, so she led the family up in the trees and everyone crossed via the low black walnut to the fence. Everyone ran quickly along the fence, not really stopping to forage anywhere. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, it was off to tree zero and the nest box, where the family relaxed for the rest of the evening. All were in the box and asleep by 6:45 p.m. A fairly typical but action-packed day. Those twins just can't seem to get enough play in.We saw a lot of new adventures this week, which helps keep things interesting. I think everyone is really enjoying how playful the girls have become, and we all wait to see each week what games and explorations they will take. Given the twins' activity level, we are sure to see some exciting and fascinating voyages in this upcoming week. Stay tuned to find out what the family has in store!