Saturday, May 12, 2007

All that can be seen is the outline of their bottoms

I wrote to you about the Wonderful Delonix and mentioned that it heralds the start of the rainy season. I mentioned that this also marks the appearance of many fruits in our Botanic Garden. We jokingly call this a ‘Hard Hat' time, because of the mangoes dropping from a great height. There is a thick canopy of various types of mango around the house. During the night the fall of these fruits onto our metal roof is quite startling. Even though this is a yearly event that we have experienced now for twelve years, we are still alarmed when the wind starts another round of crashing on the roof. The miracle is that in all this time we have never known anyone to be hit by these missiles.

With the advent of the rainy season, we begin a serious look at the enclosures. The houses must be kept dry and rain proof. All the doorways are changed for new material. All our enclosures have hammocks for the children to play. Now it is important to be sure that these are in good condition. With rain there is some restriction on the time they can spend in the open. Boredom is a great enemy of monkeys; particularly the young ones so we try to make it quality time for them by adding ropes, walkways and swings.
Some of the older enclosures were constructed of wood, in particular the big house. All these high beams have to be inspected and where necessary, replaced. Not an easy task especially when you have monkey assistance.
The reward is great. Recently Schatov and Maniña received a second large hammock. Now we were introduced to a new game of repeatedly jumping from one hammock to the other and back again until they finally the drop off to sleep. All that can be seen of them is the outline of their bottoms through the hammocks, not many inches from the floor.

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