Thursday, September 9, 2010
Go Ask Alice
Fifteen months ago (a lifetime for some) we met Alice. That's her there on the left. Although you can't tell in the photo, Alice has no tail and was raised at Capitan Suizo, a hotel on the beach in Tamarindo. At the time we were renting a house two doors south of the hotel and now we are living in a tree house two doors north where the local gang of howlers wake us up at 530 every morning--who needs an alarm clock? Some nights they sleep in the tree over the house and have their coffee klatch directly overhead, flinging their noisy news and bits of breakfast onto the roof and pooping, well, you get the picture. When the gang moves through the 'hood, one male consistently stops to peek at us over the edge of the roof or to otherwise come closer for a chat. We finally noticed that he had no tail but was clearly a male, the dangling white cojones not leaving much room for speculation.
Last week Bella and I stopped by the hotel to check on the progress of a lora (olive ridley sea turtle) they were rehabilitating and on Friday at sunset we stood on the playa and waved goodbye to her. (I am certain she was Maude or Mildred, but that is another story blogged about earlier.) Talking to Hector, the hotel wildlife guy, I asked about the overtly friendly howler hanging around the 'hood and he informed me that our tailless socialite is none other than Alice, herself! Turns out young howlers are rather amorphous in their private parts and that Alice was a bit of a misnomer. The good news is that the local gang has accepted her-m because it also turns out that a tail is a critical component of howler attraction and so, alas, poor Alice is not considered much of a threat in the mating department. The bad news is that Alice's lack of a tail will probably preclude him from getting any. So, Alice must be content to hang around as best he can, socializing with distant relatives, and generally making a life for himself.