Wallchart Mania

Wallchart mania has hit the newspapers here. For the past few months, at least two newspapers, with others on and off, have been competing to provide readers with charts on subjects such as: butterflies, octopus, squid and cuttlefish, spiders, trees of Britain, birds of prey and owls, crabs and lobsters, clouds, seashells, whales, freshwater fish, sea fish, fungi, the night sky, wild fruits and berries, tomatoes and apples. And that’s just my collection. Now the papers are flooded with letters to the editor about what to do with the charts: mount them in the bathroom, the pub, the ceiling, make wrapping paper, postcards, placemats, earrings, and mobiles. And why are they a subject for Treehugger? Because the charts celebrate the wonder and diversity of nature in our world. They make us look at the simple things that we take for granted, like the humble tomato and realise the range (32 of them, just on the chart) and colours and shapes and tastes contained in this one vegetable. How many of us can recognise a cleg fly, or lesser stag beetle or great diving beetle, or a devil’s coach horse. It’s a lesson for us all to stop and take a deep breath and observe. :: The Guardian

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