Monday, February 4, 2013

Homeschool Biology Langkawi, Malaysia

We got bored last week sitting on the beach for a few many days in a row so we rented a car to do a little tour. The island is fairly small, about the size of Oahu so it can all be seen in a day really. We skipped all the touristy places and simply drove around for awhile. Without trying very hard, we soon found monkeys on the side of the road kind of like deer back home. They are always just chilling and eating some bananas the locals throw out for them. If you pull over they will scream at you and then I remember that monkeys are mean and we drive on.
This is a monitor lizard. Yeah, they are all over the island and swim. They are about four feet long and blow your mind when you see them. Our first one was walking down a little street kinda chillin> and in the car we were like "KIDS, OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT, KIDS KIDS KIDS!!!!!!!"
There are so many jellyfish around the islands that there are Beware Signs around as well. They are no joke my friend. They come in sizes from I can barely see to holy shit, that is as big as Casey. We carry Benadryl and vinegar with us in case of a bad sting, which will require a trip to the hospital. They kinda scare us since this happened the first time Phelan swam in the ocean.
First, this photo is not mine. Hornbills are hard to find and I certainly didn't take this photo. Since arriving in SE Asia, I have wanted to see a Giant Hornbill. We actually went to a National Park just to find one but instead stared up in the canopy 30 feet above our heads listening to parrots and monkeys, not seeing a one of them through the dense foliage. But, on this particular day while buying bananas from a street stall, I saw one flying down the street. I screamed, screamed again and ran towards it. I kept yelling for Steve to look over before it flew back into the forest. It was big, like an osprey and with long tail feathers it sat in that tree until Steve walked over and it flew away back into the forest. It was a fantastic moment for me. I remember seeing the back of a Quetzal once in Costa Rica as it flew away from me, green long feathers hanging downs its back and an Andean Condor flew over me in the Colca Canyon in Peru with an eight foot wide wingspan. I still remember the sound the feathers made and the shadow it made over me. I will add this to those moments in my life, no need for a camera. Me running down a street in Malaysia, screaming and staring up into the trees. The best part, when I came back to the car, all the kids were thumbs up and so excited for me. But then we saw these little guys. We were playing a game of find the weirdest thing for the day with the boys in the car (they were getting bored) when we stopped at a pier for shrimp fisherman and Ryder found a group of these things! Steve and I think we saw them once while getting off of a ferry in Africa but we didn't have kids that force you to notice the little things in life. We sat and watched these "mudpuppies" for about half an hour do everything from climb trees, to hop like crickets and chase each other around. Check out the spine that pops out his back when he's chasing the others. All of this in one day of just driving around. Hell to the yes.

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