In the last month so much has been happening I have not managed to keep up at this blog. When I first arrived in the UK on September 29th I kept commentary going on my blogs. That tailed off during the three weeks spent at the Millennium Seed Bank ... life became busier with each passing day. I have so many images and stories still to tell from that alone.
I left there on October 31st and settled for two weeks in London ... and hit the ground running to fit in all the places on my itinerary. I've yet to write that all up so I'll simply post some images here and make a point of returning to post as I sort through it all.
I squeezed in a two day trip to Paris Nov 6th and 7th and last week travelled home via Korea where I spent three fascinating days exploring Seoul... soon realising how much there was to explore if only time permitted!
Pages from my journal that I worked on at the MSB.
drawing of seed species at Kew MSB
|Plant fossil drawing - Darwin Centre|
In London I visited the Natural History Museum at South Kensington and spent an afternoon at the Darwin Centre on the left of the original Museum.
Within the Darwin Centre is the Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity ... open to anyone with an interest in UK natural history. Read more here about visiting this centre.
(Text from the NHM website: )
It is a hub for amateur naturalists, enthusiasts and other societies studying British wildlife. A place to investigate all aspects of the natural world, from animals, insects and plants to fossils and minerals.
The centre responds to people’s concerns about UK biodiversity by taking a lead in the national citizen science debate.
What the centre offers
These photos are from the afternoon when I visited the Angela Marmont Centre ... drawing plant and seed fossils.
I relished being able to go behind the scenes to view the fossil collections and make notes and drawings.
Links from Kew Gardens Website:
Allan Cunningham (13 July 1791 – 27 June 1839) was an English botanist and explorer, primarily known for his travels in New South Wales (and elsewhere) to collect plants.
It was a challenge to photograph this material with my small camera... so I have picked two pages which were somewhat legible.
This one below itemises a long list of plant and seed collections made during his lifetime. Its a remarkable story in the light of the difficulty of travel, where he journeyed and what he managed to find. New Zealand was an important destination... he was the first collector to go there. Considerable time was spent around Brisbane, Moreton Bay and on the Darling Downs he is remembered as discovering the potential of that land for farming which proved right and prospered as a farming region in time.
Other fascinating places I visited around London I will discuss in other postings. Stay tuned.
back soon with more...
The Natural History Museum's vast collections comprise more than 70 million specimens from across the natural world, including specimens from the voyages of discovery by Darwin and Cook, material from the ill-fated dodo and meteorites from Mars. They cover virtually all groups of animals, plants, minerals and fossils, and include skins, cells on slides and whole animals preserved in alcohol. In total there are…
The Museum also houses the world's finest natural history library. It is the largest collection of natural history library materials in the world and includes…
More than 850,000 'type' specimens are present in the Museum's collections. Type specimens are of great value as they are the unique representative of a species and the first specimen to earn the species name. Whenever the species comes under review, scientists will refer to the type for answers.
Technological advancements have meant that as well as traditional collections, the Museum is also home to cell and tissue cultures, DNA banks and other molecular records. These provide taxonomists with the means to conserve and study the genetic biology of plants and animals.