Posted on Aug 29 2012
On our fabulous island of Borneo, most nature lovers know the popular spider hunters by their long beaks and loud calls. They are common around our gardens, the forests and areas where the environment is reclaiming the land.
Biologically, they are part of the familiar sun bird family (Nectariniidae), the males and females look the same and both sexes incubate eggs. They are not picky eaters consuming most insects and enjoy the nectar of many flowers. They have the uncanny ability to pluck a spider...
Posted on Jun 19 2012
All of us who have been teachers or parents know the biological changes that affect adolescence. When a male reaches thirteen, hormones begin to cause growth spurts, activation of sex glands and personality changes.
Once puberty starts there is no stopping it. This occurs in almost all mammal species in nature. Orangutans in Sumatra, however (Pongo abelii) are the exception.
The characteristics of mature orangutan males include broad cheeked flanges, big voice boxes and long hair on arms and back....
Posted on Apr 25 2012
How are seeds dispersed now that the large animals, elephants and rhinoceros, have been hunted from their ecological habitat? Will a Tapir take their place?
Rhinoceros were once plentiful throughout the Southeast Asian ecosystem. They consumed vast quantities of plants and seeds and moved from one area to another pooping the seeds out thus aiding in dispersal.
However, the demand for rhinos foolishly used in Chinese “medicine” has decimated the population to the point where they are now on the...
Posted on Apr 05 2012
Kuching, Malaysia Borneo-Since I quit teaching I can now get back to one of my hobbies, my Kris collection. A Kris is a weapon unique to the Malay world and akin to a dagger. I am not going into a description as you can see pictures of them on my Face book page, Borneo Tom.
As in most collections, the intent was to start out small and just acquire a few. Now I have over thirty, enough to equip a small army. I made the mistake of informing people of my interest and suddenly I was presented...
Posted on Feb 20 2011
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Borneo Tom by: Tom McLaughlin
Borneo Tom by: Tom McLaughlin has it all….romance,travel through Southeast Asia, orangutans and more, all being told with sketches throughout the book instead of images. At first glance you would think it’s a children’s book because the cover is vibrant. However, Borneo Tom is one of those “Don’t judge a book by its cover” books.
After caring for his parents in the years before their death, Tom impulsively...
Posted on Feb 13 2011
I guess being a father at age 60 is like having a grandson except the child never leaves. Dzul, sleeps, eats and poops around here all the time, morning, noon and night. I really don’t mind because my wife has the equipment to feed him so I am relived of sterilizing bottles.
I have lost the job of changing diapers. While working on the computer, Dzul told me in no uncertain terms his pampers need to be changed. In mid-thought while writing, I rushed through the process. My wife could not figure...
Posted on Feb 02 2011
I am just getting around to writing about one of the towns we visited before the birth of my son Dzul. We were on our way to Brunei on the only road north in Borneo when he suddenly decided to greet the world a month early a few towns later. Please go to thetentacle.com and click on my name for those adventures.
A river town on the Batang Lupar, Seri Aman is known for the tidal bore that travels everyday up the river. Wave height and velocity depends on the moon. A tidal bore, according to the net...
Posted on Jan 22 2011
One of the most difficult tasks in Borneo is determining how many orangutans are living in the area. Estimates have ranged from 20,000 to 60,000 and more, a huge range.
The major problem is they live very high in the tree tops and are difficult to see. A curious lot, one orang can move ahead of the researchers, watching, and will be counted several times.
We need to count the orangutans because we need to know where they are, how are we going to save them, which groups are declining rapidly and where...
Posted on Jan 03 2011
I love walking through the up land rain forest. Looking through the lower trees I can see everyone is different just by the bark on the trunks. I sometimes try to identify them but I need leaves, and the leaves are way…up….there.
I took my daughter, her boyfriend Cody and Rod for a walk through the wetland rain forest and, as you probably have guessed, the land was very spongy. We pulled many leeches off. A major difference was that the trees were mostly all the same.
My daughter and her boyfriend...
Posted on Dec 26 2010
As an American who married a Malay lady in Malaysian Borneo, I have attempted not to interfere with the local customs in the after birth care of my wife. I watched in awe and wonder as the family came together to care for my wife.
When we arrived after the unexpected birth of my child in Sibu, my mother in law met us at the wharf and followed us to our condo in Kuching. She was the typical doting grandmother, recognizable in any society, every where.
One of the first things she did after checking...