Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Wonders of Nature and Alfred Russel Wallace

I sternly told myself that I would not, repeat, would not buy a book this month until I received my field expenses claim. But I couldn't resist when I saw the "Wonders of Nature in Southeast Asia", complied by the Earl of Cranbrook, on 50% discount. It's an anthology of passages written by distinguished scholars, scientists and public figures, among them, Alfred Russel Wallace. I find A.R. Wallace fascinating for he co-independently came up with the theory of natural selection while travelling through Southeast Asia and his correspondence with Charles Darwin, regarding his discovery, was what prompted Darwin to publish On the Origin of Species. Besides being a distinguished naturalist, Wallace was also a talented nature illustrator and remarkably, this book displays some of his illustrations. In those days, most naturalists/biologists were also proficient illustrators.

And that's what I want to become too!

I've been practicing in the field and once, showed one of my attempts to my colleague.

"That's a very nice elephant!", she says very brightly.


"It's an orangutan," I reply, rather sulkily.

No more illustrations for her.


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