Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monkey Profile: Nick

Nick is a cantankerous old bastard.  He spends most of his time getting mad at infants and juveniles for playing too close to whatever he happens to be eating. 

While he's the largest male in the group, he's also well past his prime (and knows it), and so has ceded whatever dominance he once had to the younger males.

His favorite thing to do is eat and lie down at the same time (sorry -- no pictures of this splendid behavior).

If he were a movie character, he'd be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, only instead of becoming the hero in the end, he'd just fall asleep. 

Choosing a favorite monkey from the Green group at this point would be like choosing a favorite child...

...but let's just say he's up there.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Road Trips, Departures, Arrivals

 The volcano threw everything out of whack.  Chris got stuck in Germany and had to take a crazy route back (Gottingen -->  Rome --> Madrid --> Tangier).  Alvaro's flight to Casablanca from Fez got canceled... in the past seven days I've driven to the airports of Casablanca, Fez, and Tangier.

Over 20 hours behind the wheel.

It was a great opportunity to acquaint myself, at least superficially, with a little more of the country.

Driving on a highway for so long reminded me of home.  It was nice. 

So yes, Dave left two days ago to brave the volcano-related travel madness and attempt to return home for good.  Alvaro left three days before that to do the same (Both succeeded without too much hassle).  Not having Dave around is going to take some getting used to -- it's hard to believe 8 months have gone by since we started this project together.  Both will be missed.

Next week we're going to attempt to return to a normal work schedule, habituating the Scarlets and gathering data on the Greens.

There are now 5 newborns in the Green group.  They are all, of course, adorable, and seem to be getting along just fine.

Soundtrack (while driving):  Jay's 'C'mon Feel The South' mix.
Soundtrack (now):  Califone -- The Orchids

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010


Sofia, Dave, Alvaro and I went to Meknes today.

Not that I don't love Azrou, but just getting away for the day and seeing something different was a real breath of fresh air.  While the Meknes medina wasn't as spectacularly labyrinthine as the one in Fez, it was comparatively hassle-free and incredibly friendly.

We had a fabulous meal on a rooftop terrace,

poked around a madrasah,

and meandered through the maze of the medina.

We all agreed:

It was a great day.

'It shrank in the wash, okay!'

Soundtrack:  Steve Earle - Transcendental Blues

Thursday, April 8, 2010

babies, babies, babies

Chris went to Germany for the week and left me with his camera.  It has a 10x zoom.
I took over 300 pictures today.
Here are my favorites:

I was made aware of this fantastic blog and this fantastic organization today.  Both are more informative after 5 minutes of reading than I have managed to be in 7 months.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

100th post

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
 -T.S. Eliot

I'm so tired.  Maybe it's the lasting effects of whatever had me incapacitated for the past couple days, or maybe not being outside for a while has started to get to me.  Or maybe I'm just tired. 
Driving to Fez today to take Chris to the airport.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Food poisoning

Violently ill all last night...
...just woke up at noon. Everyone's gone to the forest. Can't remember falling asleep.

Feeling better, though.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

This is AMAZING...

...and has nothing whatsoever to do with monkeys, Morocco, or me, but I love it and wanted to share:

Friday, April 2, 2010

One more

You only find trees like this in Ain Kalla
I'm beginning to worry that picture after picture of the same subject matter might be getting boring to you guys.  Is there anything that you'd like to see that I'm missing?  Anything you'd like to know more about?  Let me know!

As promised...

Two females in the Green group have had newborns in the past week.  They give birth during the night, so it's a wonderful surprise to rejoin the group in the morning and realize a new member has been added while you were away.  We're expecting at least 3 more in the coming weeks.

Anna, the dominant female, with her newborn

The males 'steal' the newborns sometimes and run around like crazy using them to socialize with the other males.  This is Lewis with Anna's infant.

Oz (dominant male) with Anna's infant

The two females who have given birth so far are Rebecca and Anna.  While we are pretty positive that Anna has raised young successfully before, we are almost certain that this is Rebecca's first infant.  While I realize it's not proper scientific practice to anthropomorphisize these individuals, I can't help but think that she's looked pretty freaked out this week.

I realize that after looking at photos of baby monkeys, grown monkeys might not seem so interesting, but I thought I'd post these anyway:


Mac and Simon