Vervet monkeys are some of the peskiest monkeys you can encounter throughout Africa, and yet they are among the most photogenic.
They ooze personality. One of my favorite series of shots I took in Uganda was of a drama of one vervet coveting a piece of fruit that another vervet was eating. The troupe, which was quite large, was very active, scavenging all around for food, the little ones rough-and-tumbling with one another, mothers suckling their strangely blue-skinned infants, older males screeching at one another. And in the middle of it all was this quiet drama. My heart went out to the little vervet on the left whose desire was so transparent. That looks so very, very yummy … how I wish I was eating that … I imagined that he would continue to sit there miserably without challenging the larger vervet. I was wrong. But I was surprised at how mild the encounter was. The larger vervet gave up pretty easily. The little one picked up the piece, and the expression on his face was so anthropomorphic … I know I look exactly like that when tasting some exquisite culinary creation. Oh the sweet sweetness. It was obviously worth the effort he put into snagging the fruit from the larger vervet. I watched and photographed this little guy for several minutes as he relished his treat. For a while, he inspected it very closely, as if pondering, How is it that this little disc is so delicious? How does this work? He tried to pry the disc open, as if he suspected there might be an even greater treat inside, like the Tootsie Roll in the middle of a Tootsie Pop. But soon he gave up his intellectual pondering and got back to work simply savouring. I imagined him thinking, I’m going to lick this little fruit forever. I was so happy for him; his joy was so evident. I thought to myself that I must remember to enjoy the simple pleasures in life as much as this little guy. Thank you to Shara Johnson for this guest post including the terrific photos. Shara plots her travels from her home in the mountains of Colorado, where she scrapes up travel money hosting other travellers in her B&B studio. You can follow her adventures abroad at SKJtravel.net.