July 31: Same Old, Same Old
It was a pretty typical day on Holly Hill and around Beaver Valley today. The family had already crossed before the first watchers arrived for the day, though they came back a little early today for some breakfast, crossing back at 8:45 a.m. All four crossed over on the low-lying black walnut and took the fence over to the food tray, near tree four in the same fashion as had been typical (fence to hemlock to food tray). As usual, it was only a quick bite to eat in their main exhibit before crossing back to Holly Hill along the low-lying black walnut, where they all went into the bench holly.
At about 10:15 a.m. the family ventured down to the shed holly where the tamarins remained for about one and a half hours. They did move past the shed holly a bit, playing and foraging in the magnolias before heading back to the bench holly. It was a rather early cross back to Beaver Valley at 1 p.m. today. For this cross the whole family used the low-lying black walnut, however, Gisela and Eduardo were the only two to take the fence over to the food tray. Laranja and Samba used the ropes to get over to tree four. After a little snack at the food tray all four went inside the â€œHave a Heart Trapâ€� that was hung in their exhibit today and got a few treats from the bowl inside. The whole family at least sits on top of the â€œHave a Heart every day that it is hung, which is good because they seem very comfortable with it. Especially the twins who love to play and wrestle on and inside of it!
Eduardo made his famous solitary cross back to Holly Hill at 2:45 p.m., after foraging for some mealworms in the bromeliad in tree five. He only stayed for about half an hour before crossing back to Beaver valley via tree five at 3:15 p.m. As usual, Laranja and the girls were not the least bit stressed that Eduardo had run off by himself. They just foraged some more in the bromeliad after he crossed before heading back to tree zero and the hemlocks, where they remained for the duration of Eduardo's solo journey. Once everyone was back in the main exhibit, the rest of the afternoon was spent lounging around tree zero with some occasional trips to trees and five and the hemlocks. By 7 p.m. everyone was inside the nest box except for Laranja, who was just outside the box on Eduardo's favorite branch. She and Gisela were both still awake, but winding down for the night.
August 1: A Little Ice to Beat the Heat!
Another early start today, as the family was first spotted at 6:58 a.m. in the magnolias on Holly Hill, just to the right of the bench holly. The family soon made its way into the bench holly where it remained for the majority of the 7-9 a.m. shift. It was extremely hot already this early in the morning, so the family was fairly inactive, probably trying to stay cool. Around 8:30 a.m., however, Laranja and the girls did come to the ground for about ten minutes to forage. They came down just below some of the magnolia trees there to the right of the bench holly, the same area they have been coming to the ground in over the past week.
Little bellies were finally hungry at around 10:45 a.m., when the whole family crossed back to Beaver Valley along the low-lying black walnut. As has been typical the past several days, the whole family took the fence back over to the food tray. It was a very quick bite to eat though, as the whole family was soon back on Holly Hill, though everyone made a quick stop off at tree nine before crossing back. Eduardo and Gisela were a little slower than the rest of the family to cross because Gisela insisted on daddy carrying her. Gisela jumped on Eduardo's back while they were still on tree nine, and Eduardo carried her over to the low-lying black walnut along the ropes, however, he flipped over and walked along the underside of the rope, so his back and Gisela's back were facing the ground. It was a little nerve-wracking to watch because we all thought that Gisela might fall off, but she hung on tight, not letting go of Eduardo until he had carried her all the way into the bench holly. I'm not sure what got into her, but presumably Eduardo had to walk on the underside of the rope because Gisela is so big now and he could not balance his weight and hers on top of the rope.
At around 11:15 a.m. the family made its daily trip down to the shed holly where it rested for almost two hours. I suspect the heat was keeping everyone pretty inactive. At about 1:15 p.m. the family found a burst of energy and the monkeys started running all over the shed holly foraging and playing. The twins kept hanging from their toes and then flipping down on top of the shed. At 2:15 p.m. the twins led the family back down to the bench holly where they stayed until a little before 3 p.m. Around 3 p.m., it was time to start on a massive foraging binge. Gisela and Samba came into the magnolia trees right along Tamarin Run and foraged there for about 15 to 20 minutes while Eduardo remained in the bench holly and Laranja lounged in a tree. Finally, at around 3:15 p.m. Laranja was able to get the girls to follow her across the low-lying black walnut, with Eduardo close behind. Again all four took the fence over to the food tray and Laranja even came down to the ground on Tamarin Run for a minute as she made her way back.
After eating for a while the rest of the afternoon was filled up with a combination of eating, lounging, and foraging around tree zero and the hemlocks, with a brief trip to tree zero. It was fun to watch the twins forage in an enrichment device I hung for them. They have never seen ice before! Due to the intense heat today I had frozen some grapes, apples, and mealworms in some water and hung this in their exhibit with their afternoon food tray. Everyone, mom and dad included, was very interested in this and all spent a good deal of time foraging in it and checking out the ice. Then at around 4:45 p.m. Jennifer and I hung a cup filled with ice and water on the rope from tree zero to tree four to encourage the family to drink some more since the temperature was over 100 degrees today. Unfortunately no one drank from this cup, but everyone was very interested by it, all coming over to check it out. Eduardo, however, showed the least amount of interest in the cup, only briefly looking at it. We suspect that no one drank from it because it may have been hung too low, which we will fix tomorrow. Samba had put her whole face in the cup and came up sneezing, which is what led us to believe this.
After all these fascinating ice devices were checked out and exhausted, the family cooled off in tree zero for the rest of the evening. Eduardo was the only one still outside the nest box at 7 p.m., just lounging on his branch in tree zero.
August 2: A Fence Affair
It was an early cross this morning a little before 7 a.m., though the family was slow today getting to bench holly. The stayed around the magnolia trees for about 45 minutes before finally making its way into the bench holly. Today was a bit different, as there was no trip down to the shed holly; the entire day on Holly Hill was spent in the bench holly, with a trip back for breakfast at around 11 a.m. before returning to the bench holly for another few hours. By 1:30 p.m. the family was ready to return to Beaver Valley with Eduardo crossing first. Instead of crossing along the low black walnut as usual, he crossed back using the high black walnut into tree five. Samba led the way over along the low black walnut where she was followed by Laranja and then Gisela.
After crossing it was time for some food and the scale. Unfortunately today we were unable to obtain any reliable weights, as the scale ran out of batteries in the middle of the family's feast of the treats that get placed on the scale. I guess we will just have to try again another day. After everyone's bellies were full it was time for a brief rest before venturing down to tree nine at around 3:45 p.m. The family spent some time foraging and climbing all over tree nine, but soon Laranja climbed onto the fence, followed by Gisela and then Samba. This was the start of quite a bit of fence and ground activity. Right about the time that Laranja and the girls came to the fence, Eduardo crossed over to Holly Hill via tree five and the high black walnut. He did not stay long though, crossing back around 4:15 p.m., where he then joined Laranja and the girls who were on the fence. Samba and Gisela spent about 45 minutes foraging on the kiosk and on the ground all around the kiosk. Occasionally they would come to the ground on Tamarin run and then squeeze through the openings in the fence to grab some tasty treat on the other side. Laranja spent the majority of her time just hanging out on the fence to the left of the kiosk and scent-marking the sign describing the ropes in their exhibit that is there between the low black walnut and the kiosk. She marked this sign so many times, that no monkey could possibly confuse this sign as his own!
About 45 minutes after coming to the fence, the whole family began moving down toward the hemlock where the tamarins normally jump back into their exhibit. However, the family quickly by passed the hemlock, and Gisela led the way to the ground on Tamarin Run. She and her sister ran all over Tamarin Run, galloping toward Holly Hill and then dashing back toward Beaver Valley. At one point Samba even started running toward me and the tree watchers who were standing there. Laranja eventually joined the girls on the ground, running around a bit herself, and Eduardo made a quick appearance down there as well. It had been more than an hour since the family had come to the fence and it was getting late so I went inside to get an enrichment device to hang in the exhibit in an effort to lure them back inside it. I chose to hang a mop head filled with mealworms, and this did the trick. Soon the whole family was back inside the exhibit foraging happily on the mealworms.
Finally, at around 6 p.m. the whole family was back in tree zero where everyone thankfully remained for the duration of the evening. Everyone was still awake at 7 p.m. except for Gisela, though all were in the nest box but Eduardo. He was still cooling off on his branch outside the nest box, as today was another sweltering day. The family was quite active and adventuresome today considering the incredible heat wave.
August 3: Heat Wave!
It was another extremely hot day, and this seemed to affect the GLTs' activities a bit, as there was lots of lounging around and a late cross this morning. The family crossed around 7:40 a.m., finally making its way over to bench holly by 8:30 a.m. The GLTs stopped for a bit on their way to bench holly. As usual Laranja led the way down to the shed holly at about 9:45 a.m. and they all stayed there a while. Overall there were no new activities today, as the heat most likely suppressed their energy levels. Around 11:15 a.m. the whole family crossed back to Beaver Valley for food, but was back in the bench holly by 11:45 a.m. The rest of the afternoon on Holly Hill was spent in bench holly, except for a trip to the ground by Laranja and the twins. They all came and ran around foraging and playing on the ground where they always do on Holly Hill.
By 3 p.m., however, it was time to cross back for the afternoon. Gisela actually led the way home today, leading the whole family back toward the low-lying black walnut. Once everyone had crossed they all took the fence back to the hemlock to the left of tree four, as usual. The rest of the afternoon was very lazy, just lying around tree zero, as the heat was oppressive at this point. There was quite a bit of interest in the water cups that were added to their exhibit yesterday. Eduardo actually came and put his hand in the cup hanging on the rope from tree zero to tree four and then licked the water off of his hand. Samba also put her face in the cup again, like earlier this week and drank from the cups. With this heat, it's important that the whole family drinks a lot to stay cool and hydrated, so it is exciting that everyone is showing such interest in these water cups.
The whole family stayed up late tonight, as everyone was still awake and outside of the box at 7 p.m. The GLTs slowly made their way into the nest box, although Eduardo was the last inside at about 7:30 p.m., when the wind began to pick up and it started to rain. The family must have been happy to finally have a cooler night for sleeping.
August 4: Red Light District, Here I Come
The heat finally broke a bit today, and the family was much more active compared to yesterday. The routine was pretty typical, with a voyage to Holly Hill and a cross back over the low-lying black walnut to the fence and then the fence to the hemlock. The day became a little more adventuresome when Eduardo discovered the rope that leads over to the Red Light District. This rope goes over the walkway connecting a hemlock in Beaver Valley to a dogwood in the Red Light District. This rope was hung before the season began, but a few days after the release a truck tore the rope down as it passed underneath. We did not re-hang this rope until this past Wednesday. Eduardo has been curious about the Red Light District for a few weeks now, often exploring late in the afternoon for a path to cross. To date, he has been unsuccessful in his attempts or has been holding back because he thinks the twins are not ready for the jumps to cross. We knew it was only a matter of time before Eduardo discovered that this rope had been re-hung.
At 4:54 p.m. Eduardo crossed over into the Red Light District using the rope from the hemlock to the dogwood. He stayed foraging in the dogwoods over there until 4:57 p.m., when he took the rope back to Beaver Valley. He wasn't really finding much to forage on over there, which is most likely why he returned so quickly. The dogwoods do produce some lovely berries that Laranja and Eduardo both love to eat, however, they are not in bloom quite yet. Samba thought about braving the rope to cross over to Eduardo. She followed Eduardo out on the rope about two feet, but then turned around and ran back to Beaver Valley. Unlike Samba, Gisela and Laranja showed absolutely no interest in the rope or the Red Light District.
Samba fell from tree zero today, but she landed among the leaf litter below. She quickly got up and ran into a sapling in grid R4, where she climbed back up, resting for a few minutes only about a meter and a half up, but eventually making her way all the way back up into tree zero.
After Eduardo returned to Beaver Valley the family remained in the hemlocks and tree three for a while, however by 6 p.m. the whole family was back in tree zero where they remained for the duration of the evening. At 7 p.m. everyone was inside the both and all were below except for Eduardo, who was still awake. It should have been another good evening for sleeping since the heat was finally not as intense.
August 5: PlayGROUND
The watchers arrived early today and were able to catch the family cross over to Holly Hill. Eduardo changed the crossing pattern today a bit, as he crossed via tree five at about 6:55 a.m. Laranja, Samba, and Gisela did not follow him over until 7:20 a.m., where they all used the low-lying black walnut. It was then your typical day on Holly Hill, where the family began in the bench holly and then traveled down to the shed holly for a while before crossing back for a quick breakfast and then crossing back to Holly Hill where the remainder of the afternoon was spent in the bench holly until just before crossing time.
As we have seen on several occasions before the GLTs cross back to Beaver Valley, the whole family came down to the ground, foraging and playing. The twins were having a ball chasing, wrestling, and tackling each other as they ran all over the ground on Holly Hill. All this play and madness began around 3 p.m., but it was finally time to cross back around 3:30 p.m.
Most of the rest of the day was spent hanging around the hemlocks, tree three and its surrounding trees. Eduardo did get close to the rope that goes over to the Red Light District and we waited to see if he would make this voyage a daily activity, however, he never did cross over. Finally around 6:30 p.m. the whole family was back in tree zero and all were inside the nest box by 7 p.m. except for Eduardo who was sitting on his branch outside the box.
August 6: Crossing Time
As usual we observed the typical Holly Hill pattern today, however, there were some adventures toward the end of the day that made it quite an active day for the family. Everyone crossed a little after 7 a.m., briefly stopping at the bench holly before traveling down to the shed holly. The family spent quite a bit of time in the shed holly, about two hours. This is really becoming a favorite tree for them, but more of a morning favorite. The bench holly still rules as the favorite tree after breakfast, which we observed today. Shortly after 11:30 a.m. the family returned to Holly Hill for some grub and then headed back to the bench holly on Holly Hill. Eduardo, however, used the high black walnut to cross back to Beaver Valley via tree five, while the rest of the family crossed along the low black walnut. For some reason the past couple days Eduardo has become a little daredevil taking some riskier routes. We saw this riskier side of Eduardo again later in the afternoon, when he used the ground to cross back to Beaver Valley. Around 3 p.m. Eduardo made his solo escape to Holly Hill, but today he used the low black walnut instead of tree five to get to Holly Hill. However when it was time to cross back, the tupelo tree and the ground must have seemed more appealing than either of the black walnut trees for crossing, as Eduardo resorted to this least desirable crossing point. He went from the bench holly into the high black walnut and eventually made his into the Tupelo tree, where he came down the trunk and to the ground as he has done every other time he used to ground to cross back from Holly Hill. One thing is for sure, he is one predictable monkey when it comes to crossing routes. He may like to change them up every now and then, but it is always the same path each time no matter what route he chooses.
We were all surprised today, as Gisela initially led the family back to Beaver Valley for the afternoon crossing around 2:20 p.m. After crossing they all ate and hung around the main exhibit, until Eduardo decided to make his cross back to Holly Hill. While he was over there, Laranja and the girls went way up tree five where they foraged for awhile. Once Eduardo had made it safely back to Beaver Valley it was time for a little enrichment. They received a mop head filled with mealworms, which they absolutely LOVED. Everyone spent about an hour foraging in this mop head, picking out every last mealworm that had wiggled its way between the strands. Gisela broke off from the rest of the group for a while as she hung out by herself in the hemlock between tree four and tree five (the hemlock they all jump into when they take the fence back). Samba did not join her sister in the hemlock as she was too focused on the mealworms in the mop!
The later part of the evening was spent in tree zero winding down from the busy day. By 6:30 p.m. the whole family was inside the nest box and at 7 p.m. when the last watchers left for the day, everyone was asleep and all was peaceful and quiet.
This week was an eventful and yet routine week at the same time. With each passing day, the twins get more and more comfortable in the great outdoors and this leads to more risks, voyages, and activities. I hope you all enjoyed this edition of Monkey Messages and that you are all anxious to read their tales next week. Thanks for reading!