Beyond the BackyardSilver Springs

Hey, Hey, We Found the Silver Springs Monkeys!

At the beginning of the Silver Springs monkey cruise that I wrote about in my last post, I asked Michael if we were going to photograph monkeys or be the monkeys.  I figured that if we couldn’t find any of the monkeys that can sometimes be seen along the Silver River, we could have fun doing some silly-photographer selfies.  Then as the morning went on, it didn’t look like we were going to find any monkeys.  Until the last hour of our boat ride, when we first found a lone sentry monkey, then a whole group of them…and my favorite was the baby!!

Rhesus Monkey at Silver Springs
Rhesus Monkey at Silver Springs

This was the lone monkey that we first spotted.  He sat quietly for a while, then climbed up and down a tree.  We snapped away, happy to see our first monkey of the morning.  I sure didn’t expect to see more.  But a passing kayaker mentioned hearing a bunch of calls down the river, so away we went to see…

Look at Me!
Look at Me!

We found a group of about 20 monkeys cavorting along the side of the river.  They hopped, ran, jumped, and called to each other.  They were such fun to watch!  They were bigger than I expected.  Their features were so animated.

It wasn’t long before I spotted my favorite pair of monkeys.  A mom had a pretty small baby that she carried with her.  He was just precious.

Mom and Baby Rhesus Monkey
Mom and Baby Rhesus Monkey

This baby was my kind of character.  He stuck his tongue out for the photographers! :)

Mom and Baby - Look at his Tongue!!
Mom and Baby – Look at his Tongue!!

This pair was very mobile.  Baby would just hitch a ride on Mom whenever she decided to pick up and move.  She did that rather often.  These monkeys were all over the place!!  They were a challenge to photograph, especially from a moving boat, with other tourists in between us, and shooting into the dark shadows (without flash).

Hitching a Ride
Hitching a Ride

Boy could they climb!  They ran up and down the trees as easily as my cat Whiskey climbs his cat shelves.  Actually these monkeys reminded me a lot of my silly cats.  They both leap well!

Tree Climbing
Tree Climbing

It was lunch time, and this monkey grabbed a long piece of green vegetation to eat.  He looks like he’s playing the flute!

Eating Breakfast
Eating Lunch

Nearby, another monkey hopped onto a cypress tree knee and settled down to eat…a nice muddy something!  It looked pretty gross to me, but he seemed to enjoy it.

Enjoying a Nice Muddy...Something...
Enjoying a Nice Muddy…Something…

This monkey  ventured out onto a long branch and then tried to figure out how to jump up to the next branch.  It must be nice to have finger-like digits on all four feet – it helps with the climbing!

Visualize the Place Where You Want to Be...
Visualize the Place Where You Want to Be…

This one did the opposite – he held on with his feet as he dropped down to grab a leaf from the tree branch below him.  These monkeys are born gymnasts!

Just Hanging Around!
Just Hanging Around!

Some kayakers got so close that the monkeys almost jumped into their boats.  As cute as the monkeys can look at times, they are wild animals and they do bite.  I had my 500mm lens with me, so I was able to get head shots of the monkeys on the near shore.  That’s as close as I wanted to get!

Monkey Head
Monkey Head

Playtime continued as the juvenile monkeys ran around.  There was a tree that had fallen, creating a pathway for the monkeys to traverse as they crossed from the river shore to a small island in the river.  The juveniles especially were very agile…

Playtime!
Playtime!

This monkey especially reminded me of my cats as he balanced carefully on a palm tree branch, with his tail held high over his head, ready to pounce.

Juvenile Monkey Ready to Pounce
Juvenile Monkey Ready to Pounce

This little monkey ran up to Mom for a quick hug.  The human-like expressions of these animals was fun to capture!

Time for a Hug
Time for a Hug

Then they ran off together as we put our cameras away and headed back to the dock.  It was almost 1pm and we didn’t feel like sharing the monkey’s lunch of grass and muddy mystery meat!

Time to Go
Time to Go

5 thoughts on “Hey, Hey, We Found the Silver Springs Monkeys!

  1. Jess, so the story of the monkeys is that they were brought in years ago for the making of a movie(not sure but I think a Tarzan) my friends Mom and Dad both worked on it. When it was over they could not catch all the monkeys. Great images as always! Kay. kwillman08@gmail.com

  2. What a fun morning. You got some great shots. Next time I’m sitting in the front of the boat so that I get the great opportunities!

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