Wednesday 430 AM, it’s so dark and I’m up hitting the snooze before finally getting out of bed 15 minutes later and chowing down some cereal. Grunting hello’s to Ben (who is also following), I stumble out into the cool morning air just as the sun begins to peak out over the trees.
Rushing to where I found them Tuesday afternoon, I listen and search for any hint of monkey: trees rustling or swaying, munching on leaves, chirps and booms…anything.
Where are they?
Hearing nothing and running back to The Barn, I remembered seeing a troop nearby and assumed it was Ben’s troop. Peeking my head into his door, he tells me both troops are here. Perfect. I run to the West side where the group has already begun playing and feeding. Two hours later, I’m lounging in a bamboo grove and feeling like I’ve somehow wandered into Asia; the ground covered in bamboo leaves and the monkeys perching perfectly on long slender stalks as they hop from stem to stem.
After spending an hour beneath a mother (and narrowily avoiding her pee), I find Stan (the male named by Beccy) by following his pyow call. Trying to follow him as quietly as possible, he gracefully leaps up a tree, looks at me, yawns and displays those sharp teeth and settles in for a nap. Around lunchtime, I head back to The Barn for some lunch and to review what data I want to take for the actual study.
Later that afternoon, the clouds roll in and we endure rain for the next day and half and I’m transported briefly back to Seattle until my next follow day later that week.