Silhouettes and Sightings

I was a bit cranky when Miss woke me around four.  Sleep has been a stranger, my mood in step with brooding sullen skies, or flashes of sapphire sunshine.  This morning was golden.  A fat golden moon riding a break in the clouds, bathing us in its smile.  Too beautiful, and poignant, to haul out the tripod.  Minutes later golden glow becomes spiteful slashing wind, the sky cries.  Only three more Poya moons on my enchanted isle.

Somewhere, unseen but clearly heard, one of my neighbours has been chasing off the monkeys with a Bibi gun or air rifle.  It’s been lonely without the male’s booming challenges, the troupe loping across my roof as they graze the long paddock down to the creek.   Catching them as they flee in terror only yields silhouettes of a silently vibrating branch.

For days afterwards they disappear, then, when I’ve almost given up on them returning, I’ll hear the telltale swish of a branch, catch a glimpse of movement in the black bamboo, or the coconut tree on the other side.   Occasionally there have been sightings, usually in silhouette – angling for a better shot sees them vaulting off in their freaky one- or two-step dematerialisation.

Sometimes I’ve had a close encounter, usually with a tail, or series of tails – and every once in a blue moon, like this morning, I’ve held my breath long enough to capture a moment’s cautious repose, as they look at me – though more often turning their backs, or looking away in submission.

The big news is that young Hanuman is travelling alone these days – well, except for big leaps, or at the approach of a storm, or for a terror filled exodus.  See how he’s grown!

I direct you to Ailsa’s stunning silhouette shots at The Met for a masterly example of her travel theme challenge this week.

38 thoughts on “Silhouettes and Sightings

    • It really was, George! Over the past few months I’ve caught glimpses of him, and knew he was growing but he’s pretty skittish and shy, on his own, and mother still hovers quite close, as nervous as a faun about him, so I’ve never had a clear shot till today – well, it’s not really clear, it was pretty well a silhouette, but i just had to flesh it out so I could see just how much he’s grown!

    • So glad Madoqua – they’ve been such a delight for me, almost every day. Now I’m going, watching their antics – or even just passing through – is even more special and the camera stays close to hand whenever I’m here at my desk in case of a sighting!

    • Yes, I think I am very lucky – though it seems my luck is running out, having to move away from them and go back home 😦 My only wish before I go is that I manage to capture some of their play (they’re so fast, all I’ve managed so far is a tail or two entwined with a blur, or a haunch exiting the frame), and a grooming session on my garage roof – it’s right outside the spare bathroom, and i’ve never been able to sneak up ….

  1. I’m worried about your lovely monkeys! Why do the neighbors want to frighten them away? (By the way, have you had drought too, very light monsoon? I was reading about it in India…)

    • Yes, my dear – the SE monsoon has been a great disappointment as far as rain on the ground has been concerned. All we can do is hold our breath and hope the NW will be better otherwise there will be hunger …

      My poor monkeys are naughty – they rob these city farmers of their bananas and mangoes, umbrella, whatever it is that’s coming into fruit … And they do do quite a lot of damage to roofs, and trees, as they land. Poor things, caught in an age old vice because of ‘man’.

    • I know – I’m lapping it up! Every time i hear therm out comes the camera – hoping, hoping, I’ll get a few shots – imagining in my mind’s eye what wildlife will be outside my windows in four or five months time! I’ve been thinking a macro lens might have to become a substitute. 🙂

  2. I enjoyed the read – I can hear the threads of nostalgia running through your writings as you near the end of your stay … drink it all in and then take all the memories with you.

    • This house has been a bit of a white elephant – beautiful but seriously flawed – but despite all the problems, I’m so glad i’ve had these two years here – these fellows have been such a delight 🙂

  3. Meredith, I can feel the sadness and as Lynne says “nostalgia” in your writing. We will all miss the adventures you have shared with us but I can’t imagine how hard it will be for you to say goodbye to your wonderful Shangri-La. Your blog will truly be a cherished treasure for you and your followers to read and re-read and re-read again.

    • I wonder if, when I eventually settle back in Oz, it might prove to be the springboard for something different. Who knows, perhaps i’ll be ready to let go, and will immerse myself in the beauty of the coastal ranges north of Brisbane. I hope so, really – there’s nothing worse than looking back.

      After a month’s research, and endless thinking, thinking, thinking, I’ve decided not to leave till the end of January next year – so that gives me a bit more time to finally get the place out of my system. Feel a bit heady about those two extra months 🙂

  4. How he has grown! We are going to miss reading about the adventures of Hanuman 🙂 Hope you manage some great shots of the troop before you leave.

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