Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Ferdinand's microscope

I took myself off to see the 'Hidden in Plain View' exhibition in Geelong, featuring fungi, lichens, mosses, liverworts and hornworts with items, drawings and paintings from the State Botanical Collection (Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne) and biographical details of the collectors and researchers. I expected to be impressed, and I was. But I didn't expect to be moved emotionally, and I was. The item that 'got' me was Ferdinand von Mueller's microscope that Joseph Banks sent out to him in 1857. Such a simple piece of equipment for such 'giant' men to use. Ferdinand is a giant in the world of Australian botany, and Joseph (I hope they won't mind me being on first name terms) a giant full stop.

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