A Monkey’s Wedding in Minnesota’s Wild North


Having spent many moons out in the hinterlands of Southern Africa it came as a surprise to catch on video here in Minnesota’s Wild North a true manifestation of the fabled “monkey’s wedding” of that region.  A monkey’s wedding, or “sunshower” is when you experience that rare moment when a rain shower collides with the brilliant, baking sun. According to Wikipedia, in meteorological terms “A sunshower is an unusual meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining.” Here we have a blue heron enjoying a monkey’s wedding out on the rocks of the Upper Mississippi River, sunning herself whilst enjoying a shower all at the same time.

Traveling down the Mississippi River via canoe one is surrounded by nature at all times, especially here in Northern Minnesota.  You can go for days and days and not come into contact with another human being, which is refreshing but at times a bit lonely.  Lacking human contact, one starts to whistle with the birds, which if fine because they in turn will whistle back.

Included in this compilation piece is a blue heron, a painted turtle, a family of geese, and a young family of deer.  I did come across one 10-point buck but he was too quick for me, bouncing up and over the brush before I could reach for my camera.  Another night, a fox, that I saw as I was coming up just before camp, slaughtered a goose just outside my tent.  So far, no wild bear, moose, or wolves. Although they are most definitely around!

Truly enjoying Minnesota’s Wild North.  Per usual, I can’t say enough about it!


Here we have a little history of folkloric names around the world for the “sunshower” phenomenon provided by our friends at Wikipedia:

 “In South African English, it is referred to as a “monkey’s wedding,” a loan translation of the Zulu umshado wezinkawu, a wedding for monkeys.  In Afrikaans, it is referred to as jakkalstrou jackals wedding, or also Jakkals trou met wolf se vrou as dit reen en die son skyn flou, meaning “Jackal marries Wolf’s wife when it rains and the sun shines faintly.”

In Hindi it is also called “the jackal’s wedding.”

In Bengali it is called a devil’s wedding.

In Arabic, the term is “the rats are getting married”

Bulgarians speak of the Devil’s marrying.

In Korea, a male tiger gets married.

In various African languages, leopards are getting married.

In Kenya, hyenas are getting married.

In the American South, the “devil is beating his wife”.

 One animal, the fox, crops up all over the world from Kerala to Japan (Japan also refers to it as ‘Kitsune (the fox) takes a bride,’) to Armenia; there’s even an English dialect term, “the foxes’ wedding,” known from the south west of England. In Calabria, Italy, it is said that “when it rains with sun, the foxes are getting married.”

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Filed under On CNN, On the Mississippi, Wanderlust

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