In the heat of the afternoon sun, what else can you do?
You're by the sea with your friends, the adults are all at work.
There are trees to climb, sand to wrestle in or sunbathe on.
Best of all? A private pool!
Perfect for fishing, swimming, play-fights and cooling off.
Who do you imagine is enjoying these leisurely summer activities?
I'll let these photos answer that...
The group of kids you imagined probably weren't this kind of primate!
These are crab-eating macaques, photographed at Mu Ko Lanta Natutional Park, Koh Lanta, Thailand. While they are usually seen in the nearby jungles (or pinching a can of soda from the cafe) they can also be found near rock pools and on beaches where they scavenge for washed-up fish and open up molluscs and other crustaceans. I'm not expert, but I'm sure their afternoon in the sun was also their way of practising their hunter/gathering techniques.
- Stone or creature? Either way this pair had a lot of fun splashing, diving and competing for it!
While I'm normally very wary of monkeys (especially these clever macaques who know exactly how to break into a moped if they smell something good inside) it was crystal clear that this group couldn't care less about a big, hairless ape with a clicky black thing in its hands (AKA Me!).
Honestly, I think this was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen...
I snapped away happily, so happily I nearly cried! I laughed so much at their joyous antics that sometimes I just had to stop taking photos.
Sat with me were two ladies, one from China (who’d lost her partner somewhere on the beach) the other a solo traveller from Israel. So often when we see these magical moments in nature they are for our eyes only, but this time I had some company - and it was great! We sat for a long time with those monkeys, quietly enjoying the antics of the boisterous nursery group.
And now I get to share the experience with you!
There was so much to take in as the group charged around, switching between swinging in the trees, rolling in the sand, and literally cannonballing into the water!
I backed away for a while when this adult started to approach, her tiny baby clinging to her. Thankfully she was just moving to feed somewhere else and possibly keep her baby out the heat. But you can never be too careful or too respectful!
Watching these monkeys filled my heart with joy because I could see it was doing the same for them. It was pure, innocent fun. It even felt a bit nostalgic.
I will remember this day forever and I’m sure they will too.