27th February 2009
On several evenings in the year, governed by temperature and humidity I think, termites take the air in their millions, to start new colonies. They are the size of large ants but don't thankfully bite. Because our roof is of a local design which allows a certain amount of air circulation to naturally cool the room, the termites come in by their thousands. They quickly drop their wings and begin to search for somewhere to hide. They get in your hair, inside your clothes, under the sheets, in the pillow cases, in fact everywhere. The other evening was Pixies first experience of the invasion, and he was terrified. He always chases off any fly and even mosquitoes that come near him, and having dozens of persistent creepy crawlies in his fur that can't even be shaken off, drove him to distraction. The macaques just enjoy the easy feast of termites but for the hour or so the swarm lasts, Pixie become almost hysterical and even wet himself, so that I had to take cover in the bathroom with him till they had all landed, then spent hours, shaking and sweeping everything to clear the room before he would settle down. I don't know if Pixie is just and extra sensitive langur but it is hard to imagine that the wild ones can have such an acute reaction to being covered in creepy crawlies. He was too frightened of them to pick them off him, and just tried to run away from them, a hopeless tactic but perhaps how the langurs avoid them in the wild.
Daphne is learning and trying new things every day, she is also sleeping better at night. I now have 2 volunteer visiting baby sitters who look after her for a session once a week. As well as this help we have 2 English volunteers staying who are giving Baldrick and Daisy lots of attention, as well as looking after Daphne at times. Pixie unfortunately won't go with anyone until he knows them well.
Pixie tried his new pen for the first time today, and it went much as expected, he showed up his different attitude to the macaque monkeys, as when he felt he had had enough and wanted to come out, he simply went to the door and tried to open the catch, he opens all the house doors. The other monkeys just rattle the bars and scream! His introduction will be slow and hopefully painless until he is happy to be left for longer periods.