September 4: Third Time's the Charm
The tamarins have adopted a new schedule where they now usually visit Holly Hill three times a day. We'll still see an early morning cross at around 7 a.m. with time spent in the bench holly before venturing down to the shed holly and often the garden. Today the family spent about half an hour in the garden and the magnolia trees along Olmsted Walk. On their way back from the shed holly the GLTs crossed back for breakfast. Today the cross was at 11:15 a.m. After eating they cross back to Holly Hill as usual and enter the bench holly where they spend most of the afternoon. The family spends a lot of time foraging and relaxing in the bench holly.
At about 3 p.m. we saw the family cross back to Beaver Valley, where again they ate some but soon crossed back to Holly Hill via tree five to the high black walnut. This was a much shorter trip than the previous two, as the family crossed back to the main exhibit a little before 5 p.m. While on Holly Hill for this third time, the whole family spent a great deal of time foraging. The monkeys began in the bench holly, but soon traveled down to some magnolia trees very close to Tamarin Run, where Eduardo and the twins foraged like crazy. Laranja did not appear all that enthusiastic about this third trip or the voyage down to the magnolias, as she stayed back patiently waiting for the twins and Eduardo to eventually follow her home. After crossing back it was quick to bed. The whole family was inside the nest box and asleep by 5:45 p.m. The sun had disappeared behind some clouds and it became darker in the valley with a slight chill, which probably led to the early retirement for the evening.
September 5: The Big Fall
It was a miserable day from the start with downpours in the morning and a steady sprinkle throughout the day combined with cold temperatures. As if the weather wasn't unpleasant enough, the day turned worse when Samba fell at about 10:15 a.m.! She was playing around in a white ash when she suddenly slipped and fell to the ground. After about 30 seconds, she began calling, and she and Laranja called back and forth for a while. Samba did not return to the trees, so Jennifer and I were called and asked to come to the exhibit. Samba finally stood up and climbed into a dogwood, where she remained for several minutes.
After the fall Laranja, Gisela, and Eduardo came down low on the trunks of trees to watch Samba carefully, though all were hesitant to come to the ground to help her. Once Samba got herself into the dogwood, Gisela ran over to her immediately and checked her out, but then moved onto another tree close by. She did not go far from Samba, and Laranja and Eduardo stayed close by. Eventually Samba climbed out of the dogwood and up higher in a nearby tree where Eduardo finally checked her out. She soon made her way over to the food tray near the nest box and began eating. She ate quite a bit in the first half hour after her fall, which we felt was a good sign. From what we could tell she did not appear to have any external injuries, nor was she favoring any limbs, which would indicate that she may have broken something. What we were all most concerned about was that there was some internal injury that we could not see.
For the rest of the day, we monitored Samba very carefully, looking for any changes in behavior or her physical condition. She moved around with relative ease for the rest of the day, even taking a trip to Holly Hill and the Red Light District (RLD) with the rest of the family, though she did not have quite the same energy and bounce she normally does. We observed a decrease in her play level, although it is hard to know if that's because of the fall or the dismal, wet weather. In fact, everyone's activity level was reduced today, most likely due to the weather. There was only one short trip to Holly Hill and on the way back the whole family took the fence and Samba went bounding down it as she always does with no visible problems. She must have been feeling OK as she joined the family on its jaunt to the RLD around 2:15 p.m. Once the family crossed back from the RLD around 3 p.m., the rest of the day was spent inside the nest box in an effort to escape the rain and stay warm, with the exception of a few quick trips to the food tray.
Samba appeared to be doing well at the end of the day, although tomorrow would tell us more. Her condition was not serious enough that we felt the need to bring the family inside. Most likely we suspect that Samba got the wind knocked out of her by the fall. She also was probably a little sore and shook up by the incident, which may have led to her decrease in play.
September 6: Holly Hill or Beaver Valley?
The monkeys set a record today: they crossed to Holly Hill four times! It seems that they have been foraging a lot more lately, however, this foraging may not be proving fruitful and so they cross back and forth between Beaver Valley and Holly Hill in an effort to satisfy their hunger. The day began in the bench holly as it always does after their first cross at 7:07 a.m. A trip down to the garden and Olmsted Walk did not occur until after their first trip back to Beaver Valley for food, therefore it was a later trip in this direction, at about 11:30 a.m.
By 1 p.m. it was time for another quick trip back to Beaver Valley before crossing back to Holly Hill again around 1:15 p.m. Perhaps these guys just can't make up their minds about where they want to hang out. The majority of the day was spent in the bench holly relaxing, foraging, and playing. Samba showed no signs of injury and was back to her active self. At 3:45 p.m. the family crossed back to Beaver Valley for the third time today and we all thought they would stay put for the evening. Before we all knew it, they were heading right back for the bench holly again around 4:30 p.m. It was a very short trip, as the GLTs crossed back for the evening a little after 5:15 p.m. and headed straight for the nest box, where they remained for the rest of the evening in a little monkey ball.
All this crossing back and forth can really take a lot out of a watcher. The family has begun taking the high cross (tree five to the high black walnut) a lot! Eduardo and Gisela make this jump with relative ease and have no qualms about it. Laranja, on the other hand, has appeared very nervous as she attempts this cross, pacing back and forth trying to find different ways to make the jump before she finally goes. While the low black walnut is not completely out of commission, Eduardo has made this higher cross a more frequent occurrence for the family. The crosses back, however, are usually still along the low black walnut to the fence. If there are a lot of people around, the family occasionally takes the ropes back.
September 7: An Otter Outing
A total of three trips were made to Holly Hill today with a visit into the garden and the holly on Olmsted. Eduardo was not about to let this be any ordinary day, however, as he led the family on another new adventure before crossing back to Holly Hill for the third time. We're not sure what seems to have gotten into Eduardo lately, but the adventure bug certainly has bitten hard and he has begun exploring many new areas.
Today he led the family on a trip down toward Olmsted Walk, but on the Beaver Valley side, not on Holly Hill. It was Laranja who actually started by traveling down to tree 13, which we had seen the whole family visit only one other time, earlier this season. After exploring this area for a while, Eduardo suddenly began traveling even farther down toward Olmsted Walk.
Poor Laranja was unable to keep up with Eduardo's quick pace, so she was left behind. She tried desperately to figure out how to catch up to Eduardo and the twins who had taken off with Eduardo, leaving mom behind. Unfortunately, Laranja does not have the best mapping skills, which makes it difficult for her to navigate unfamiliar areas if she is not directly behind Eduardo or the girls. As she was trying to figure out how to get to the rest of the family, she wandered into the otter enclosure at around 1:30 p.m. The twins eventually made their way back to Laranja and joined her in the tree that sits in the otter exhibit. The otters were delighted at the sight of them, eagerly waiting below, hoping for a little tamarin to fall so they could have a small snack. Thankfully, this never happened and twins and eventually Laranja crossed out of the exhibit back to Eduardo who was waiting close by. The whole family finally made it back to tree zero before crossing over to Holly Hill again for a late afternoon visit. The GLTs spent their time in the bench holly playing, foraging, and relaxing before crossing back for the evening shortly after 5 p.m.
After crossing, they all had dinner and then crawled into the nest box around 6:15 p.m. and were soon fast asleep for the night. With so many trips back and forth between Beaver Valley and Holly Hill, and the excitement of a new adventure, the family tuckered itself out.
September 8: Look out Below!
Just like yesterday, the family crossed three times to Holly Hill. The pattern on these days is a cross at around 7 a.m. with about two and a half hours spent in the bench holly before crossing back for some food. As we typically see, it is a quick trip back before heading to Holly Hill again, where the family then travels down to the shed holly. Today the family spent some time in the magnolias and pines, and entered the Olmsted holly for a while. A trip to the magnolias, pines, and the garden with occasional voyages into the Olmsted holly now accompany the family's trip to the shed holly every day. The monkeys don't always spend time in all three of these areas, but enter at least one of them each day.
After about two hours down by the shed holly, the family returned to the bench holly at around 1 p.m. before crossing back for some more food a little before 2 p.m. As we often see in the morning, this trip to Beaver Valley was quick with the family returning to Holly Hill just before 2:30 p.m. The family spent the next two hours in the bench holly playing around. While the monkeys were playing peacefully, a large branch broke off of the high black walnut and came crashing to the ground. Thankfully, none of the monkeys or visitors were injured by this fall, but it certainly startled the four little monkeys! It's lucky that the monkeys were not on this branch when it fell, as they used to play and forage on it a lot. It was the dead black walnut branch that came into the bench holly on the Tamarin Run side. After all this excitement the family crossed about an hour later shortly before 5 p.m. They all grabbed a bite to eat, groomed each other for a while, and then headed straight to bed around 6:30 p.m. It was a rather typical, but active day.
September 9: A Family Split
There were only two crosses to Holly Hill today, which was the norm for the family earlier this season. This is not to say that the day was not action packed and filled with adventure. Eduardo really gave us a run for out money during the 1-3 p.m. shift today!
The morning had been pretty typical, with a cross to the bench holly via the low black walnut at 7:12 a.m. After about an hour and a half the family moved down into the magnolias and pines before briefly entering the shed holly on the way back to Beaver Valley. At 9:52 a.m. the whole family crossed via the low black walnut and took the fence over to the food trays. As usual it was a quick trip back before Eduardo bounded up tree five and crossed back to Holly Hill, followed closely by Gisela, who did not hesitate for a moment before making the BIG leap into the high black walnut from tree five. Laranja and Samba were not quite as daring as these two. Laranja desperately tried to figure out how to cross over that high up, but after several minutes of pacing back and forth in search of a route she came back down tree five and went over to the low black walnut and crossed back this way. Samba followed close behind Laranja, as she appeared a little nervous as well about making that huge jump. Our scared little Gisela isn't so cowardly anymore. This has become such a difficult and scary jump for Laranja and Samba because with all these storms and wind we have been having, we have lost quite a few branches from many of the trees on Holly Hill, including another huge branch that came crashing to the ground this afternoon, thankfully not harming anyone, but startling many visitors as well as the monkeys. The branch the family used to cross on earlier this season has broken off, so the branches of the high black walnut and tree five no longer overlap. Before the family could just walk across the branches without having to jump at all, but now the jump is a big jump down from tree five to the high black walnut.
The family eventually crossed back to Beaver Valley via the low black walnut to the fence around 1:45 p.m. Eduardo did not stay long, crossing back to Holly Hill via tree five by himself. At first it looked as if the rest of the family may follow, but instead they lounged around in the hemlocks, keeping a close eye on Eduardo from across the walkway. After about an hour in the bench holly, alone, Eduardo started on a solo adventure into the tupelo tree soon venturing into the holly tree the family had visited the day they went into the elephant yard. It looked as if he was going to head down to the elephant yard by himself, when suddenly he caught sight of the twins crossing over from Beaver Valley into the Red Light District (RLD). At the sight of this, Eduardo ran back into the tupelo tree, which he then used to come to the ground, crossing Tamarin Run into the RLD. At this point there was a huge crowd of people who had gathered and we had Laranja in Beaver Valley, the twins in the RLD and Eduardo on Holly Hill coming to the ground. All three walkways had to be cleared and all traffic had to be stopped from all three of these directions until Eduardo was safely inside one of the areas. This was quite a task with the shear size of the crowd that has gathered, but the watchers did a fantastic job in spite of some difficult visitors.
Once Eduardo crossed into the RLD and joined the twins, Laranja frantically tried to get over to the family. However, her difficulty with her mapping skills made this task much harder than it should have been. She kept pacing back and forth, always following the same path each time from one hemlock to tree three and another hemlock. She kept going to the hemlock that they cross into when they are coming from the RLD and to the hemlock that used to have the rope that led to the RLD, so she did know what trees had been used in the past for crossing. However, she just couldn't find the right branch to take from tree three, which is how they have been crossing since the rope was torn down. Finally, Laranja was put out of her misery when the twins crossed back to Beaver Valley, shortly followed by Eduardo. All three crossed into the hemlock. Now that the family was finally reunited the rest of the afternoon was spent among the hemlocks tree three and tree zero. They all retired to the nest box at 6:15 p.m. and were all asleep by 7 p.m. This active day must have worn them out.
September 10: A Day to Relax
The family finally took a break from its wild adventures over the past several days and had a fairly relaxing and typical day. We saw three crosses to Holly Hill with the majority of the time spent in the bench holly, though the GLTs did make an early morning trip down to the pines and magnolias before the crossed back for breakfast. They did not spend any time in the shed holly today, as most of their time was spent relaxing and resting in the bench holly. The family really was not very active today. Perhaps their escapades from yesterday wore them out a bit and they needed a day to recuperate. Around 3:45 p.m. the family crossed back to Beaver Valley for the final time today and then hung out playing, foraging, and lounging in the hemlocks. It was an early evening in tree zero as the whole family was back there by 5:30 p.m. and all were inside the box by 6 p.m. These cooler, overcast days have been drawing the tamarins back to their box earlier and earlier. Not the most exciting day, but definitely more relaxed for the watchers compared to yesterday's crowd-control nightmare. The most excitement we saw today was when four deer came running through Holly Hill while the tamarins were in the bench holly. As usual, this riled the family up with lots of predator and alarm calls, mostly by our brave little Eduardo.
Another busy week in Beaver Valley! The gray, cool weather certainly has not slowed the family down in the least. Every day is a new adventure just waiting to be told. I hope you all have been enjoying your inside track on the GLTs' world and stay tuned to find out what happens next week in this never-ending monkey saga.