Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Learning more about the known

Hello, my loyal reader(s)

No, I haven't been sick. I haven't been working. I've just been busy, with no time to ckeck out what is happening in the natural world. And I thought that when I cut back my work hours this year I'd have a lot more free time. Silly me.

There has been time though to explore my copy of the new CD edition of Wild Plants of Victoria. It's very gratifying to see that the data I have submitted to the the Flora Information System (FIS), run by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), has been included. Occasionally I send in exact locations of specific plants that I have found, especially when the earlier edition of Wild Plants didn't have a record (black square) for that location in the distribution map for that plant. And because of the CD I've had to change the Family name of some of the plants on my list of Homerton plants - it's so annoying when they do that even though I understand why they do it.

I've also been reading with pleasure Anna Pavord's The Naming of Names:the search for order in the world of plants. She writes beautifully, and the illustrations are wonderful. I'm up to the year 1500 and we're just moving into the Renaissance, the enlightenment, when the light finally goes on, when the academics moved beyond looking at plants purely for their medicinal purpose and artists started to draw plants that could be identified. It's hard to imagine a world that didn't know about DNA, pollination, Darwin and Linnaeus. We complain about changes in the names or order of plants and animals but imagine what it must have been like when there was no order.

So, I haven't totally neglected the natural world. There is so much to learn about it in books.

1 comment:

Duncan said...

I must let the moths out of my wallet and update my copy of the cd!