Friday, January 8, 2010

T-talj kayn henna (the snow is here)

Situation I found myself in today which, a year ago, would have seemed unimaginable/ludicrous:
Having a conversation in Arabic with a shopkeeper in Morocco (remember, it's in Africa) about how much it's snowing.

Needless to say, it's snowing! Like mad. Around 10 it had accumulated to about 4 inches, and it's still falling now around 1.30.

I shot these photos on my way to and from the haddaf. I'm still angry at myself for not getting any of the haddaf itself, but I'm still crazy self conscious in that place and I just couldn't bring myself to take out my camera and play the tourist.

Dave and Chris are in the forest today. I have no idea how they got there or how they plan on returning, but they've been gone for most of the day so I'm assuming they made it and are gathering quality data. I'm sure they'll have some good stories to share upon their return.

Roasting a chicken tonight. Yum.

Soundtrack: Richard's Rainy Day Mix (It also works on snowy days!)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Monkeys, monkeys, monkeys

(top right corner)

The mating season seems to be coming to a close. Males who a month ago wouldn't be seen within 15 meters of each other are now grooming on a regular basis. None of the females have been fully swollen (which indicates fertility) in about 3 weeks. We still get the odd coalition but stuff has, for the most part, calmed down considerably.

The next couple months will be spent going over the data we collected during the season as well as finding and starting habituation on a second group of monkeys. I'm pretty excited about this second bit, as it means exploring new parts of the forest AND getting to know a whole new group.

I've grown very attached to the group we've been studying (The Greens, as we call them). Each monkey has its own distinct personality, and it's fantastic to see how all of those personalities mesh into one crazy group that I get to be right in the middle of every day.

Winter is entering full swing. Snow in the forecast for Friday.

Nick hanging out near our car.

Helen, the most photogenic female.

Every morning Oz finds a good spot in the sun (when the sun is out) and relaxes for a while.

I know now. Trees really do make the best playgrounds.

Hope everyone's new year has gotten off to a good start!