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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Off Topic Post - Meet the Critters in Snow White's Garden

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we would end up in the Tropics in South America.  I can't say exactly where we are for personal reasons, but I'd like to show you some of the critters that visit Snow White's Cottage (name in keeping with the books our son, Jonathan, wrote about our lives) on the mountain and hidden in a tropical rain forest.  Hence the cute name - Jungle Jen's Journal.  Ian did that and he also designed my blog.  He also does any websites of ours as well.  He is a computer guy so those things are easy for him.

Here is Mr. Sloth hanging around - this tree is about 7 stories above the ground and the termites have been making many of the branches rotten through and through.  I don't know how he has not fallen!  He seems to know what he is doing.  He has stuck around for about 6 weeks now coming down after eating to hide in the thick Ficcus trees. It takes several days for them to digest their food.  Needless to say our tree is looking quite sparse at the moment and a bit sorry for itself as that sloth is eating all the leaves. He even sits up there in torrential rain and lightning storms.  I watched him climb the tree the other day.  Fascinating.  He is actually very agile in a tree but get him on the ground and you cannot believe how sloooow he is.  Unreal.  Hence his name - sloth.




Next are a couple of photos of the birds that come visiting to eat bananas from the hanging baskets below the eaves.  We've since stained the wood - looks very pretty, but they mess on the mango-colored wall (yep, my house is mango with a red roof) and periodically we have to clean the wall with bleach.  Those are Bay Headed Tanagers and the red one is the male Summer Tanager (his mate is completely yellow and also pretty).  We get a good variety of colorful birds.  Sometimes the squirrel or the olingo (night animal) gets up on the roof and jumps into the basket to have a banana feast.  If they see Smiley, our dog, they jump to the bush below and scamper away.


The monkey and the red squirrel don't seem to mind each other too much.  That stick you see in the photo has two prongs at the top.  I put the banana between the prongs and lift the stick up and plop the banana into the basket.  This way I don't have to take the basket down each time.  This was Ian's neat invention.  I do similar things with the hummingbird feeders.


This little Titi monkey (Jeoffroy Tamarin) is enjoying his banana very much.  Lately two of them come to visit me almost daily but often a whole troop will come at once.  They are the cutest things and become quite tame.  I don't go too close though as they are still wild.  I remember a little scrappy one used to come visit me.  He was very tiny and had a scrappy, little tail.  He was sooo cute.  He would call me from the driveway each day and then he would make that monkey sound and eat  - it sounded like he would cry and eat and cry and eat.  Poor little thing stopped coming after a while and I fear the worst.  This Titi monkey in the photo is a robust, healthy specimen.  He doesn't mean to be sticking his tongue out at you. (wink)