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Friday, April 13, 2007

Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit and the Mycologist

I had no idea she was into mycology!

I've seen some of her beautiful paintings for years and I merely thought, well she certainly likes to paint flowers, plants and rabbits!

Her interest in fungi is a fascinating dimension of her, particularly because of how self-motivated and enthusiastic she was in her study of them, despite a lack of scientific background. Apparently in her time, she just wasn't taken very seriously.

Fascinating story on her at The Scientist.

Roy Watling, of the British Mycological Society, says Mary Noble, one of his former colleagues, stumbled upon Potter's drawings close to 15 years ago while sorting through bags filled with Potter's work. "Until then nobody knew about her work with spores," he says. Potter's illustrations captured details about fungi that had eluded other scientists at the time. For example, Potter drew the first record of the fungus Tremella simplex in Britain. She painted the fruiting bodies, the basidiospores, and all other parts at all ages in the fungus life cycle. "She drew everything she saw," says Watling.

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 4/13/2007 04:10:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

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