now a-peering: Rhesus Macaques -- Macaca mulatta, in Silver River SP, Ocala, FL.
These monkeys established here in 1938 when tour operator Colonel Tooey loosed some on an island with hopes of boosting his business. Tourism is still Florida's top industry. These were part of a colony whose membership seemed to exceed 20.
An important test subject for medical and biological research, the Rhesus Macaque has aided the development of numerous vaccines and drugs. Until 2013, macaques were trapped here and sold to research labs.
'O sweet spontaneous
earth how often …
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy beauty' ~ e. e. cummings, “oh sweet spontaneous”
This one appeared to be the dominant male of a small peripheral group of six. These monkeys live in complex social groups involving separate male and female dominance hierarchies. A peripheral subgroup is led by a single male of lower dominance.
'...Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears...' ~ from "To an Athlete Dying Young" by Alfred Edward Housman
These macaques are known carriers of the Herpes simian B virus, and considered a public health risk. We encountered some tourists feeding the monkeys, the exact kind of shortsighted interaction that could easily result in bad situations for all.
'...Still from the fount of joy's delicious springs
Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom brings...' ~ Byron, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"
Just imagine the trouble you could get into with feet like these.
"Get in that car before I kick your ass." ~ Christy Brown, "My Left Foot"
"Thank God I'm an atheist." ~ Luis Brunuel
"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up. They have no holidays." ~ Henny Youngman
'...There's many a life of sweet content
Whose virtue is environment.
They erred, they fell; and yet, 'tis true,
They hold the mirror up to you.' ~ from "On the Flyleaf of Manon Lescaut" by Walter Learned
Some gathered food appeared to be small twigs and fallen dried seeds from ash trees, along with some Spanish Moss, although they may have been eating something off the Moss and not consuming them directly.
Our own foods seem by far wider-ranging, yet so many of us have "unhealthy" diets. Pick your poison as best you can. Nutrition is one of our youngest sciences.
'Convenience is the enemy.' ~ Miss Lady Kier/Deelight, "I Had a Dream (I was falling through a hole in the ozone layer)"
"I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't." ~ Jules Renard
"There once was a time when all people believed in God and the church ruled. That time was called the Dark Ages." ~ Richard Lederer
“We must come to grips with the facts: having goofed at playing Noah, we now find ourselves playing God.” – Norman Myers, "Noah’s Choice"
'My Father Christmas passed away
When I was barely seven,
At twenty-one, alack-a-day,
I lost my hope of heaven.
Yet not in either lies the curse:
The hell of it's because
I don't know which loss hurt the worse--
My God or Santa Claus.' ~ "The Skeptic" by Robert Service
Fresh, green ash seeds are also eaten. Looks like Carolina Ash -- Fraxinus caroliniana, aka Pop Ash or Water Ash.
"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." ~ Susan B. Anthony
"When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, doesn't work that way. So I stole one and asked him to forgive me." ~ Emo Philips
“Given a choice between their worldview and the facts, it’s always interesting how many people toss the facts.” ~ Rebecca Solnit
"Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded wheelchair." ~ Dorothy Parker
Other plant seeds were also stripped and eaten.
"They say exercise and a proper diet are the keys to good health. Oh well." ~ Drew Carey
"I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon." ~ Ellen DeGeneres
"He who has never envied the vegetable has missed the human drama." ~ E. M. Cioran
"Happiness is a wine of the rarest vintage, and seems insipid to a vulgar taste." ~ Logan P Smith, "Afterthoughts", 1931.
'Monkeys, who very sensibly refrain from speech, lest they should be set to earn their livings.' ~ Kenneth Grahame, "The Golden Age, The Finding of the Princess"
'Gonna keep on trying
Till I reach the higher ground.' ~ Stevie Wonder, "Higher Ground", 1973.
"If you had a million Shakespeares, could they write like a monkey?" ~ Steven Wright
"We've all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the internet, we know that this is not true." ~ Robert Wilensky
These macaques are known to be aggressive, but i don't know if anyone has warned them about the humans.
“How come we play war and not peace? Too few role models.” ~ Bill Watterson
“If you find yourself worrying, go outside, take three breaths, address a tree and quietly say,’Thank you.’ If you can’t find a tree, a dandelion will do… Nature is magic.” ~ Robert Bateman
they had a lot of 'personality' - ?
"Personality is everything in art and poetry." ~ Goethe
'But I'm still trying to make my mind up
Am I free or am I tied up?
I change shapes just to hide in this place
But I'm still, I'm still an animal
Nobody knows it but me when I slip
Yeah I slip, I'm still an animal' ~ Miike Snow, "Animal"
"Acting, not prostitution, is the world's oldest profession. Even apes act." ~ Marlon Brando
'I wonder what is meant by sanctuary, if a real or
apprehended place, as of a bell rung in a gold
surround, or as of silver roads along the beaches...' ~ from "Triphammer Bridge" by A. R. Ammons
"When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and asked if it was the Catholic God or the Protestant God I didn't believe in." ~ Quentin Crisp
'Youth, large, lusty, loving -- Youth, full of grace, force, fascination,
Do you know that Old Age may come after you, with equal grace, force, fascination?' ~ Walt Whitman, "Youth, Day, Old Age, and Night"
Human cooperation is an evolutionary puzzle as well as an ongoing concern. But the science of love existed before any love of science. There is hope yet.
‘Denfenceless under the night,
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.’ ~ from “September 1, 1939” by Wystan Hugh Auden
"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support." ~ John Buchan
"We are the species that clamors to be lied to." ~ Joyce Carol Oates
Rhesus Macaque social organization is sometimes referred to as 'despotic' where power is generally retained or challenged by lineage associations.
"Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage." ~ Henry Louis Mencken
‘Unless someone like you
Cares a whole awful lot
Nothing is going to get better
It’s not.’ ~ The Once-ler in “The Lorax” by Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1971.
"Why did Nature create man? Was it to show that She is big enough to make mistakes, or was it pure ignorance?" ~ Holbrook Jackson
"I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped." ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Look upon the world as one big family." ~ Hsu Hsih, "A Memorial to the Throne Written in Hang-chow", 11thC
'...Mom loves the both of them
You see it's in the blood
Both kids are good to mom
Blood's thicker than the mud
It's a family affair...' ~ Sly and the Family Stone, "Family Affair"
Junior's got springs. Well, it is a spring-fed river. Fountain of youth, anyone?