Friday, July 31, 2020


Dear Wings to the Flame,

Look at these gorgeous painted specimens!  Each is a marvel, and their are hundreds of thousands of these kind of biological and botanical illustrations all around the world.  Think of the great and varied efforts of these naturalists painstakingly locating every little spot and smudge on these wings, just to catalog all the flora and fauna they could find. 

Isn't it a kind of funny idea?  To catalog?  Imagine, for example, if you decided as an illustrator, to draw every kind of food package you encountered in a month of groceries, say?  Or, if you decided to catalog all the hands you'd shaken, or socks you had worn. 

To see the ponderous scale of skilled illustration efforts the the 18th, 19th, and 20th, centuries have produced in the pursuit of the cataloging of species, go here, to be directed to the Biodiversity Heritage Library's collection of illustrations; available to admire and download for free.