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Naturalist with tropical interests, traveller, entomologist, specimen collector and writer
I had hoped to see the great Argus pheasant, but alas only heard it in the jungle #evolution
I am recovering from a long bout of the fever but it has given me great opportunities to think
I was in hopes we should get a sight of them; but we went on mile after mile through the gloomy jungle and saw nothing.
After crossing a second paddy-field we entered the jungle & our men assured us that tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses were all abundant.
3 miles after setting out for Ophir we stopped at a village for a woman to sift the rice as it was so full of husk as to be almost uneatable
We had to carry collecting apparatus, guns & ammunition and "cadjaris" (or large mats made of the leaves of a Pandanus) to thatch our hut.
We engaged an old man and four young ones to carry our baggage & took the smallest possible quantity of clothes and bedding to Mount Ophir.
Several fine species of squirrels are abundant here and they make much better eating than the bats.
I had the opportunity of tasting one but it was too tough for me to pronounce an unprejudiced opinion on its merits as an article of food.
These great-winged creatures are so totally different from anything we can behold in Europe and are much esteemed by all in Malacca for food
Huge bats called "flying foxes" come in the evenings to our fruit trees, looking more like aerial machines than any living creature.
I will stay here at the Government bungalow kindly arranged by Captain Ferrier just long enough to pack up my collections, then to Malacca
We are returned from Mount Ophir & there is much to relate.The effort was well repaid & I had my first sight of tropical mountain vegetation
For now, I am preparing to go further into the forest - to Mount Ophir.
Every observer of nature who sees the variety of living things must give some thought to the theory of progressive development of species.
Malacca's four barbets are dull, slow-moving birds, and in their actions much resemble the Toucans and Hornbills, not the woodpeckers.
Today I caught a butterfly of great beauty. It was sitting on the dung of some carnivorous mammal and I believe it may be a new species.
There are few industrious Chinese here so not many insects to be found beside butterflies, of which I am building a fine collection.
Reading @JQAdams_MHS 1809 diary: Fog. No Observation. Spoke a fishing Schooner from Grand Bank, bound to Plymouth. Read Chantreau’s travels.
Staying for the moment at the comfortable Government house at Ayer-Panas with plenty of room to dry and preserve our specimens
The first bird I shot here was Cymbirhynchus macrorynchus and I was both surprised and delighted at its extreme beauty
Am feeling much better and will be back in the forest soon. I never took half enough quinine in America to cure me.
The Government doctor has been making me take a great quantity of quinine every day and this appears to have killed it.
Have been laid low back in Malacca with a pretty strong touch of fever myself this last week, with the old Rio Negro symptoms.
One of my servants has the fever and is very poorly. I shall be obliged to return to Malacca with him even though just beginning on my work.
To see the Ornithopteras and the great Ideas on the wing is certainly one of the finest sights an entomologist can behold.
Enjoying the magnificent Ornithoptera Amphrisius as they sail along at a great height, often without moving the wings for some distance.
I have engaged 2 Portuguese to accompany me into the interior; one as a cook, the other to shoot & skin birds - quite a trade in Malacca.
I am preparing to move to a site in the forest. The Jesuits have given us contacts with some Chinese converts in the village of Gading.
The Malays skin birds remarkably well...They stuff them however too tightly.
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