Guess Who Had Siesta in the Old Tree Next Door?

I’d been following up on the sound of the troupe crashing up the hill along their aerial highway, and up through the mango tree across my roof – camera loaded, ready to go.  I missed them all, of course.  They were at full stretch, leaping and running almost faster than my naked eye could catch up with them.  A little despondent, I turned to leave the balcony, when, out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed something in the old tree just the other side of the fence.  Snap.  Two tails.  Two monkeys, then.

Yes, it was!  I wondered whether I could get closer, and be less exposed, if I went to the window on the landing.  The lighting was bad – into the dense shade of the old Ficus, with glary copper-tinged afternoon light behind – but the tails kept giving away their positions, the whole troupe seemed to be there.  I took the risk – and shot, unremarked, for half an hour or so.

There he was, young Hanuman – the centre of his family’s attention – as mother, aunts, cousins, and uncles congregated on the apartment-like branches.  It was siesta time.  Barely any chatter.  Everyone had a turn at being groomed, braced against each other or with legs propped up on branches  – Hanuman sprawled on his tummy, four legs trailing around the branch as though it was mummy.  After the grooming, those who couldn’t find a fork to wedge themselves into, turned and sat back to back with their grooming partner – a smart way for a nap, I suppose.  A couple of monkeys had brought along a ripe banana, or a mango.  Every so often an  animal would change position, climb higher up, or join another group – but they seemed to prefer being close to each other – in groups of three or four.

When I downloaded the photos, they even were worse than I feared – so I didn’t post them, thinking I’d catch our friends next time with my other camera, when it came back from repairs.

Sad to report, yesterday my neighbour chopped down the old tree.  The monkeys have lost one of their  siesta spots – and are now missing a vital link in their aerial highway across the hillside.  And these are the best photographs I will ever get of the Hanuman Troupe taking siesta.

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57 thoughts on “Guess Who Had Siesta in the Old Tree Next Door?

  1. Wonderful pictures, I would give anything to have the opportunity to see monkeys in my garden 🙂 What a shame, that your neighbour chopped down the old tree.

    • It sure is a shame, though I’m sure my landlord will be very pleased – it’s been shedding limbs quite regularly, and one very large branch landed on the roof only a few weeks ago – luckily no structural damage, but it was only a matter of time!

    • They came through yesterday, but I haven’t heard them today. It will mean more traffic on my roof, but their highway isn’t broken – the neighbour’s tall trees though, are now a cul de sac, so I’m hopeful they might hang out there a little, even though they’re young and not nearly the right configuration for apartment living like the old Ficus was.

    • Aren’t they cute? But then, you could be doing a series on racoons, or skunks, or if you’re by a lake, there’s sure to be a beaver dam … Where are you? How are you enjoying Canadian life … your holiday?

      • Hello, yes or bunnies or squirrels… never thought of it that way. Canadian life has been good, lots of relaxing and spending some time with the nephews. No schedule and lots of eating my favourites. Will be going to Cuba for a holiday too! Sell offs are great!

          • Yes will need to pack them! No internet while away so will have to blog all about it when we get back. I think they have computers and internet, but if it is like the last place, we went in Cuba, it was SO slow and ancient computers on top of that. I will never have enough power to post, so I will save it for when I come back.

    • They sure are – thank goodness I didn’t wait, eh?

      I have to admit, the tree was in a very dangerous position, hanging over the roof of this house. Already one large branch had fallen on the roof, and there were a couple of really huge branches that could easily fall on the house, or worse still the dogs, or me … In the end, it was almost hollow, so I guess it was for the best.

  2. I’m glad you managed at least a couple of really wonderful shots. Far more than any of us will ever hope to see. Pity the tree cutting couldn’t have waited a few more days or weeks.

    • Odd, isn’t it? I got the camera back only a couple of days later! Oh well, as you said, there were a couple that are ok, if kept small enough, and it’s more than one would usually get, so I’m happy about that. Just sad for the monkeys – it must have been so cool, and comfy in that tree … 🙂

  3. Don’t be too sad about the photos, there are some beauties! I do hope the troupe stays around, despite losing their siesta tree, maybe someone will plant another 🙂

    • These ones were the best of the lot (pumped up by the compeer as far as I could take them), and if I keep them at this small size, they’re fine as a reminder of a wonderful afternoon watching them at rest, in their own environment. It did feel very voyeuristic!

      Unfortunately, when the block is sold, or built on, even more trees will go, but so far there’re enough for the troupe to swing and leap around the edges to other arboreal highways – and there’s always my roof!

  4. These shots are truly treasures now that the tree is no more. What a shame that their routine will be altered because of this. The tree looked like it was thriving however, I am sure there was a good reason to remove it.

    • Unfortunately it had two really enormous dead branches, one of which was over the roof of my house, so my landlady will be relieved. In the end, it turned out to be almost hollow, so it was just a matter of which monsoon storm would knock it over, I’m afraid.

      They seem to be coming back, and exploring. I don’t suppose I’ll ever see them congregate in such large numbers again, but luckily there are lots of trees still on the hill, and down to the marshland, so they’re safe for now – ten, or twenty years from now, I don’t know.

    • It’s interesting to speculate about your kids’ reaction, isn’t it? They’d certainly find it fascinating.

      They’re still unbelievably shy, but it seems if I’m very still, and quiet, they’ve learned to ignore the scent of me – well, sometimes! I guess that afternoon it was just so hot, and afternoon grooming and naps just have to happen, even if there’s a shadow creature lurking behind a window just beyond the fence!

  5. The images are very good, as was you narrative. It’s always difficult to get perfect shots of wildlife, they’re not so inclined to pose. Being their neighbourhood, hopefully they’ll adapt to the missing tree and stick around.

    • They’re still passing through, Ella, but that’s the only tree out my windows with horizontal branches for a good siesta. Not that they’ve siesta-ed here that often, which makes me think they’ve lots of other loggias about the place.

  6. Aww the monkeys are sweet…though the ones in India (there are plenty) love stealing fruit and foodstuff, they swiftly snatch stuff from the hand out here…these guys are beautiful 🙂

  7. Oh Hanuman seems to have grown since that first meeting! What a pity about the tree! But if you can still follow their antics, that is not much of a loss then. Hope to see more of little Hanuman and his extended family. Thanks for the adorable photos.

  8. I had allmy ash trees cut down one year so I know how sad it is to lose trees… All the birds that nested in them had to move on… I hope your monkeys will find a place near by to rest and play…

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