Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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APRIL 1940
 
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APR 1940
17

Masamba, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Wednesday, April 17, 1940

The place is more full of ants than any we have visited. They even got into closed tin cans and a jar of BC jam with a screw top. Our cheese crackers and oleomargarine were beyond help.

This is also a very malarial place. Hugo was much troubled by mosquitoes in the night but perhaps not anopheles. I had one under my net, but found that it was not an anopheles and was not even filled with blood in the morning.

Hugo gave my tropical ulcers another treatment. I found another, making four in all, three large and one small. I persuaded him to leave the one I am observing for a few days longer. I think he is also interested in seeing whether it will increase or decrease without treatment.

The ulcers are caused by a fungus. They are not spread through the blood but once one appears the germ is apt to be carried to any new scratch or abrasion by contact or bathing. My new small one started from an insect bite.

We took the car at 8:30 and followed a grassy road going through the swamp land in the direction of the coast. After half an hour, we stopped and Hugo went exploring on a trail. He came back and said that he had some important and interesting finds. I went in to look at them, one a palm which I had already photographed at Lape without fruit, but now a specimen which here had a luxurious display of red berries. I agreed that to do justice to this photographically the tripod was necessary so drove back without Hugo, who started on a further exploration, and returned with the tripod. I blew the auto horn on my return as arranged but Hugo told me later that he had not heard the six loud long blasts. We have found that the jungle not only cuts off sound but sometimes makes it appear to come from the wrong direction. At Tenatte, for instance when Hugo went into the jungle and did not return I blew the horn thinking to give him directions. He heard the horn but said later that the sound seemed to come from the opposite direction to that in which he knew the road was located. He proved this to be correct by not following the sounds, although at the time he had lost his directions and did not know where to turn to reach the car. He finally came out on the road but did not know which way to turn to reach it. I did not record this at the time as he did not tell me until later.

After photographing the palm and fruit in color and black and white, I took another of a Livistona [Pholidocarpus] on which Hugo wished to show the stripes and barbs as clearly as possible. This was in a dark corner of the jungle and required a small diaphragm and long exposure. Our third subject was a collections of “Runs” at the base of a tree which looked like a lot of stalagmites in a cave. It was curious because this part was in no sense a cypress swamp, and the tree was not a cypress.

Further along the same road were several more specimens which Hugo had spotted while I went after the tripod. One of these was a small tree with what appeared to be large orange colored flowers on it having large star like petals. The flowers were in reality the fruit, the true flower being white and much smaller. Another variety had large dark red star fish like “petals”. We had to turn back through lack of gasoline although the road extended 10 kilometers further. Hugo saw the palm he was after but we left it until tomorrow.

We must have presented a rather startling appearance to the natives, who see very few white people anyway, with Hugo seated on the back of the rear seat and I on the back of the front seat. There were groups of them around their palm thatched houses and they watched us go by with open mouthed astonishment.

We got back at four, and a very successful day was over, except for all the work that Hugo and Wongso had ahead of cleaning and classifying the seeds collected.

Pholidocarpus palm near Masamba

Pholidocarpus palm near Masamba, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Edward Beckwith. Licuala in the foreground and Calamus in the upper left.
Striped petioles of Pholidocarpus palm near Masamba

Striped petioles of Pholidocarpus palm near Masamba. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Licuala palm near Masamba

Licuala palm near Masamba. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
 
Licuala palm near Masamba

Licuala palm near Masamba. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Hugo curran with pneumatophores (aerial roots) of an unidentified tree near Masamba

Hugo curran with pneumatophores (aerial roots) of an unidentified tree near Masamba. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Pneumatophores (aerial roots) of an unidentified tree near Masamba

Pneumatophores (aerial roots) of an unidentified tree near Masamba. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
 
Clerodendrum minahassae collected by Hugo Curran near Masamba

Clerodendrum minahassae collected by Hugo Curran near Masamba. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Clerodendrum minahassae at Fairchild, grown from seed collected by Hugo Curran on April 17, 1940

Clerodendrum minahassae at Fairchild, grown from seed collected by Hugo Curran on April 17, 1940 near Masamba, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photographed by Carl Lewis on April 17, 2010.
Fruit of Clerodendrum minahassae

Fruit of Clerodendrum minahassae. Photographed in 2008.
 

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