"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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August 21, 1926 : Head Camp (Lower & Upper) ; Rouffaer River

August 21

A quiet day, and climatically one of the two or three perfect days we have experienced in New Guinea. The sky was a dazzling blue all day and the air perfectly clear so that the mountains made a beautiful picture, appreciated the more because so rarely seen. I took another hike into the jungle. Noticed an interesting sort of pitcher plant. The "pitcher" {p. 218} or trap is very large. When on the ground it usually grows in the moss so that only the lip of the trap is above the surface. The cup is filled with a clear liquid and the lip is so slippery that no insect can get a foothold. They step on the lip, slide into the cup and can't get out as the under side of the lip has down pointing hairs which prevent it. When on the ground the pitcher is a mottled russet and green combination. Sometimes it climbs high in the trees, 20 feet or so above the ground. In this case the pitcher is pure green in color, turning red as it grows older. Also saw some curious fungus, like white lace, bell-shaped with a small umbrella above it covered with a sticky olive green substance with a particularly offensive odor. The first one I saw had a particularly large and beautiful butterfly roosting on it.

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