Penang Island

Not sure one should travel with a company called Fire Fly but it was fine.

My reward for 2 weeks lecturing is 2 days at the beach.

Monkeys are evil. Always carry a big stick in the jungle. Large gangs of them roam and try to get around behind you, threatening to jump on your back!

Even more threatening are the ants. While you’re trying to photograph them their palls are thinking your legs are another available tree.
Malaysian wild bees at a farm near the botanical garden don’t sting, but after many of them crawl over your hand  they start to scratch and try to apply propolis. Feels like the onset of stinging but it’s harmless.

Cannonball tree.

A botanical seed specimen of a cannonball tree fell into my bag. It would be fun to grow it in the conservatory.


Cormorants (Double Crested?) have just made their way up the Maumee River. I first knew them in Ireland where my father described them as ‘very dirty birds’.  Forty four years ago I saw none on Lake Ontario, then 10 years later I saw a few solitary birds off Toronto Islands.  Ten more years passed while the population increased to cloud-like flocks on the horizon.  Moving to Lake Erie 24 years ago I saw the whole cycle repeated as the invasion of the Great Lakes proceeded westward.  Now we saw about seventy of them perched on one tree on “Small Island” outside 341. Their droppings often kill the trees, as has happened at Lake Erie Islands, because of high ammonia content or just outright volume of guano, I’m not sure which.