July 10: No Squirrels in My Territory!
As we have seen over the course of the past several days, the GLTs' typical routine seems to be to grab a little breakfast at their food tray near tree four, lounge in the hemlocks for a bit, and then cross over to Holly Hill, where they spend the majority of their day in the bench holly, tree 35. Well, today was no different. It was an early cross, at about 7:45 a.m., to Holly Hill, where the family quickly headed for the holly tree. There was a little bit of straying from the holly into some trees that are closer to the elephant yards. And there was a short trip down toward the shed holly, though no one in the family actually made it into this tree. The rest of the morning was spent in the bench holly until about 1:15 p.m., when the family decided to cross back over.
After crossing back the rest of the day was same old, same old, as the family kept going back and forth between tree zero, tree three, and the surrounding trees and the hemlocks. Samba, however, did have a little adventure herself. She continues to amaze us every day with her courage and independence. She had an encounter with a squirrel in tree three, which she faced off all by herself. Go, Samba! By 6:30 p.m., everyone was inside the nest box resting from their energy filled day.
July 11: Miss Independent
It was an early cross to Holly Hill this morning, with the whole family crossing over at around 7:45 a.m. Crossing back was different today, however. Laranja crossed back around lunch time, and Samba followed her. They both sat on the food tray near tree four for a bit, but Gisela, who was still in the holly with Eduardo, would not stop crying and wining, as only our little baby can. After just a few minutes of eating, Laranja decided to come to Gisela's rescue and crossed back over to Holly Hill using tree five, crossing over on the high cross, so it was a big jump for her.
As mom crossed back, Samba was still eating when suddenly she noticed she was alone and she began to climb up higher in tree four to see what was going on. Gisela was still vocalizing and Samba knew exactly where the rest of the family was. She climbed to the top of tree four, leaving us on the ground gasping as she tried to find a way over to Holly Hill. The only tree that connects with tree four is tree five, so eventually she found this connection, which is some 40 feet high. From tree five Samba quickly moved to the same high crossing point that Laranja used to get over into the black walnut and into the holly tree. While Samba was alone, she didn't vocalize. She knew where she needed to go, and kept trying to find ways to get back with her family. Eduardo and Laranja did keep coming out on the black walnut that meets with the holly tree so they could see where Samba was and she could see where they were. It looked like Laranja was going to try to cross again on the high black walnut to meet Samba, but she could not find a good way over so she kept going back to the holly tree. After the family reunited and spent some time in the holly, at around 3:30 p.m., Laranja started to move down Holly Hill toward her preferred crossing tree, the low-lying black walnut. This time Samba did not follow as Laranja left the holly, possibly because she didn't want to get left behind again. Finally on the fifth attempt to cross back on the low-lying black walnut, Laranja actually got Samba to follow and Gisela followed as well! Woohoo! Gisela finally learned to be independent in her crosses back. This is a very good thing, as she and Samba are getting bigger and bigger every day and Eduardo really cannot handle all of their weight. And I don't think any of us anticipate Eduardo giving up his jaunts to Holly Hill anytime soon, so she needed to learn how to cross sooner rather than later.
All three girls crossed, leaving Eduardo behind. He tried to find the connection with the low-lying black walnut that Laranja and the rest of the family used, but he overshot it and quickly gave up running back to the holly tree and using the high black walnut to cross into tree five. As I'm sure everyone can guess the rest of the afternoon was then spent between tree zero, the hemlocks, and tree three. As evening began to fall, Eduardo protested going inside for as long as he could, finally entering the nest box at nearly 8 p.m. Who doesn't want to enjoy the beautiful summer evenings we have been having?
Just another interesting note about the day, Gisela fell once from a low branch in the bench holly, maybe a yard or two off the ground.
July 12: And Mama Wins the Lead!
Today was a typical day in the holly (tree 35) over on Holly Hill, as the family crossed over at around 8 a.m. The family was up early, however, around 6:45 a.m. and already in the hemlocks. It was hot outside and they were ready to get moving. While most of the day was spent in the bench holly, the family did go for a little adventure, almost making their way down to the shed holly, but not quite reaching it.
When it was finally time to cross back, at around 2:30 p.m., the entire family, even Eduardo, followed Laranja using the low-lying black walnut! The rest of the afternoon was spent in the hemlocks and tree three as well as the hemlock that has the rope to cross to the Red Light District. It was a fairly late night for these guys, as they did not go inside their nest box until 6:30 p.m. All this heat, I think, is getting them up early and enticing them to stay out late.
July 13: Why Is There All This Traffic?
Today was a late day for crossing. At 7 a.m., the family was already in the hemlocks, some stopping for a quick bite to eat at the food tray near there. Eduardo was already sitting in the hemlocks looking over at Holly Hill with his plotting face on. You could tell that he wanted to cross over and that he was just waiting patiently for Laranja and the girls to finish eating and playing a bit before they headed over. Unfortunately his plans for a relaxing day on Holly Hill kept getting delayed. There was a ton of traffic on Tamarin Run this morning that seemed to keep scaring the GLTs, enough that Gisela kept jumping on Eduardo's back, which he has been trying to put a halt to over the past couple days. She's getting quite large, and he can barely support all of her weight these days. When she jumped on his back, he started swaying back and forth, but finally caught his balance.
There was one truck in particular that really seemed to upset them. It was a big vehicle carrying a large crate from the Asia Trail construction site. The crate was so large that they had to ask Jennifer, the watcher, and me to move out of the way so that it could pass. There was a lot of other traffic and just a lot of commotion in the area for the entire first shift, which may have contributed to this delay in crossing. The overcast and drizzly morning may have also contributed a bit, though the GLTs stayed in the hemlocks during the entire 7–9 a.m. shift, with only a few trips down to tree five by Eduardo, but no stops back at the nest box.
Finally at 9:36 a.m. the whole family crossed over, with Eduardo leading the way. The family followed its usual path, using the low-lying black walnut. It was another day just hanging out in the bench holly as usual. I think we all have come to expect this routine from them. As is typical of their behavior in this tree they just relaxed, played, and jumped all around. Then at 1:34 p.m. hunger started calling and the entire family headed back to their main exhibit for some lunch. Everyone crossed back using the low-lying black walnut again. Laranja and the girls led the way to the black walnut and waited patiently while Eduardo decided what he wanted to do. He sat in the bench holly looking out over the crowd on Tamarin Run and finally decided to cross with the family who was waiting for him in the magnolia tree. As soon as he made the decision to cross with them he was over in the magnolia in a flash, so fast, no one could believe how he got there. As soon as he caught up to them the family crossed back together in the low-lying black walnut. So while Laranja and Samba have been extremely consistent in their paths for crossing, Eduardo seems to change his every few days. He went from crossing on the ground; to using the black walnut to get back into tree five to now following Laranja and the kids over the low-lying black walnut. He just can't seem to make up his mind.
Once back in their main exhibit they all headed down to tree five and then on to their food tray, which was hanging from the rope that goes from tree four to tree three. Eduardo and the kids ate right away, but Laranja hung back and did her own thing for a while. She finally came to eat around 2:20 p.m., after everyone else had finished, which is different from her typical behavior the past few days. Normally she has been eating quite a bite more than the rest of the family, and usually she wants to cross back around 1 p.m. because she is the hungry one.
The rest of the day was spent lounging around the hemlocks and tree three. Eduardo came down to the ground at 4:17 p.m. to forage in some rocks under the tree-four-to-tree-three rope. He had foraged here occasionally last summer, and once this summer, a few weeks ago. Finally at around 4:30 p.m. it was off to the nest box and tree zero, where they spent the rest of the night, though they were still awake at 7, when the watchers left, but they were all inside the box, contact alert.
July 14: Who Needs Breakfast?
It was a very early start for the GLTs this morning. They were all awake at 6:45 a.m., when the first watcher arrived and were grabbing a bite to eat before they crossed to Holly Hill. About 20 minutes later, the whole family crossed over using the low-lying black walnut as usual. Gisela usually crosses over on her own, but today she insisted on dad carrying her over, so she got a free ride on his back. Once they crossed, they headed... can anyone guess? Yes, to the bench holly! They stayed here for a while, despite their new food tray being hung at 7:15 a.m. The little bit they ate earlier this morning from yesterday's food tray must have tided them over, enough that Holly Hill was more exciting than new food.
Around 9 a.m. the whole family decided to take a little trip down toward the shed holly, led by Laranja. They moved quite fast down that way, stopping first in some of the trees between trees 33 and 32. Then all of a sudden we hear them predator calling over and over again, and we knew that there must be someone or something in their exhibit. Right then, Laranja bounds down to the shed holly, and as I look up I see a Zoo worker in the GLTs' exhibit near the shed. The whole family was calling at him, trying to scare him out of the exhibit. I quickly responded, asking the man to get out of their exhibit until they had moved away from the area. He wanted to get a leaf blower out of the shed and lock some other things away. Laranja was not happy and kept getting closer and closer to him, calling more and more. He didn't leave the exhibit until he locked away the tools and got the leaf blower. After about a minute, they were all still calling and he had not left. So I asked him again to leave because the monkeys were very upset. I explained to him that they would most likely leave the area shortly, and he could finish up his work then. He finally gathered his things and left the exhibit area.
Once he was out of the exhibit, all the peace was restored and the family quickly darted back to the bench holly. They remained in this tree resting and playing until about 9:45 a.m., when they all crossed back, using the low-lying black walnut. Even Eduardo followed the rest of the family again. They all must have been hungry because they headed for their new food tray for a little breakfast. After a bite to eat they stayed in the hemlocks for a bit before being scared back to the nest box by a large branch a keeper was carrying down Tamarin Run. Laranja and the kids remained inside the box for about 15 minutes, while Eduardo hung our on his branch just outside the nest box. Around 10:45 a.m. Laranja and the kids ate a bit from their food tray by the box and then headed for the hemlocks, while Eduardo took off for tree five. Sure enough, he was not ready to say good-bye to Holly Hill for the day, so he darted up tree five and crossed over into the Black walnut on Holly Hill by himself. Laranja and the kids did not follow, but instead remained in the hemlocks; they did not seem too distressed by Eduardo's departure. Eduardo on the other hand seemed a bit agitated that he was the only one to cross. There were a few long calls back and forth, but not too much distress overall. Quickly Eduardo realized that no one was going to join him on Holly Hill so he ended up crossing back at 11:16 a.m. using the high route on the black walnut crossing into tree five. He came down to the hemlocks where the rest of the family was and they all spent some time there, until about 12 p.m., when everyone headed back to tree zero. They all took a little nap while back at the nest box, groomed a little, and just hung out.
At about 2:15 p.m. it was time to get up and move around a bit, so they headed for tree three and some of the trees around there, went down to tree five a bit, but then ended up back at the nest box by 3 p.m. The remainder of the day was just spent traveling back and forth between the nest box, the hemlocks, and trees three and five. They spent quite a bit of time foraging in the bromeliad in tree five that had been filled with mealworms earlier in the afternoon. Overall most of the afternoon was a lazy and relaxing time.
July 15: The Epic of the Shed Holly
Another early rise this morning, as the GLTs were already out and at their food tray near tree four at 6:45 a.m., when the first watcher arrived. It was not a mad dash for Holly Hill, however this morning, as the family did not end up crossing over until a little before 8 a.m. Once they crossed, they spent most of their time hanging out and playing in the bench holly until Laranja led another trip down toward the shed holly. For many days now she has been trying to get the family to follow her down there, as I feel she may be getting bored with the bench holly. Eduardo always seems to follow; however, the girls just don't seem to want to leave their little playground quite yet. They do not understand that there are many other fun and exciting trees over on Holly Hill. Not to worry though, I am sure one day soon the girls will follow Laranja and discover all the fun and adventures Holly Hill has to offer. After a while, when the girls, Gisela in particular, started heading back to the bench holly, as Samba had followed Laranja a short way, Laranja soon followed, heading back to the bench holly.
From about 11:30 a.m. on, Laranja made several attempts to lead everyone back to the main exhibit, but no one wanted to follow until a little before 1 p.m. As has been typical on some days, hunger set in and it was time for some lunch, so Laranja was able to get the girls to follow her, crossing over using the low-lying black walnut. Eduardo did not cross back with them on this black walnut as he had been doing for the past couple days. He just has to continually surprise us with his ways. We are pretty sure that he crossed over using the high black walnut into tree five, though the watchers did not actually see him cross this way, he was just suddenly behind them coming down tree five.
After all this excitement and the crowd at the Zoo today was delighted by the crossing, it was straight to the food tray near tree four for some lunch. Once the bellies were full it was time to rest a bit in the hemlocks, before heading back to the nest box for a bit. Soon though it was off to the smaller trees near tree three, where the whole family foraged and relaxed a bit, and then again back to the nest box. The afternoons lately have been quite a mixture of time spent all around the main exhibit, with several checks back into the nest box/tree zero. Perhaps it is the heat that lures them back to the box or just a reassurance that the box has not gone anywhere. By 3 p.m. everyone was lounging around in tree zero, and the kids were cooling off on the metal nest box holder just above the box. There's nothing like a cool place to rest after a long day on Holly Hill.
Just when we thought that the family might be winding down for the night, it was time for another adventure. The whole family headed over to tree 2A. They all came down to the stump that what's left of tree twot, as the tree had been cut down because of rotting. From the stump the GLTs all kept hopping from the stump to the ground and back to the stump again. Between the four of them, they all touched the ground a total of seven times. Apparently there is a hole in the stump that they all enjoyed, hopping in and out. But just when we thought that coming to the ground was odd and exciting, we soon saw Eduardo and Laranja copulating! They copulated twice today. Laranja has been showing us her active and mischievous side lately, as she has had tons of energy and has been trying to get the family to explore new areas. I think she is going to be the one keeping us on our toes this summer more than the kids.
Around 6:45 p.m. everyone was inside the nest box beginning to doze off. By 7 p.m., when the watchers left, Laranja was the only one still sort of awake, but she was starting to node off. It had been a long and exciting day!
July 16: Shed Holly Salvation
Today Laranja did it, she finally was able to persuade the entire family to follow and join her down in the shed holly. The family made a very early cross at 6:50 a.m. over to Holly Hill, where they went as usual, straight for the bench holly. After about an hour or so in the holly Laranja decided to make another attempt to get the family to travel down to the shed holly. The kids really seemed to enjoy themselves, quickly realizing that this tree is very similar to their favorite bench holly. There was a plethora of activity that occurred down in tree 31, with the kids, running, jumping, and playing non-stop! Gisela kept hanging upside down from her toes, which was absolutely adorable. It's so nice to see the whole family finally so comfortable with the outdoor exhibit. After about an hour and a half down in the shed holly, it was time to take a quick trip back to the food tray for a bite to eat. At around 9:30 a.m. everyone crossed back into the main exhibit using the low-lying black walnut, where they then headed for their fresh food tray near tree four. It was some â€œfast foodâ€� however, as the family spent only ten minutes eating before Laranja started leading everyone back down to the low-lying black walnut, where they all crossed back over to Holly Hill. After breakfast what's better than a little R and R in the bench holly? It was straight to the bench holly where they all lounged around and rested. The rest of their time on Holly Hill was spent in the bench holly until about 2 p.m., when Laranja was ready to head back home. She made her way down into the magnolias and over to the low-lying black walnut, although it took her a bit to decide for sure if she wanted to cross back, as they whole family did follow her, but she just hung out in the magnolias for a while before she finally made the cross. Everyone followed her over the low-lying black walnut, when they all headed down to their food tray at tree four. After their little bellies were full they all headed back to the nest box, where it was time to take a break from the intense heat wave that had just rolled in.
Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent hanging around tree zero and the nest box, although the family did make a few trips to the hemlocks. It was a very late night for the parents, as Eduardo was not inside the nest box at 7 p.m., when the last watchers left. He was just hanging out on his perch just outside of the nest box, where he stayed until about 8:30, before retiring for the night. Laranja came out to sit with him a few times during that hour and a half, but she kept coming back inside to check on the girls who were in and out of sleep on the top layer of the nest box. Apparently no one told them that it was a work day tomorrow and they decided to lounge the night away.
Is everyone tired yet? The family has been up to a lot these past couple weeks, and their activity levels only seem to be increasing. The family has been awake, pretty much, for 12 hours or more every day, keeping all the volunteers busy. I hope you all will stay tuned in to see what adventures lie ahead for next week, as I suspect Laranja has some more travel plans in mind. Be sure to read next week's issue, as it is sure to be a good one. Thanks for reading and keep enjoying the season!