I must confess when I first saw this book I immediately thought, “Oh, another nicely illustrated, densely detailed survey of plants. I’ll just thumb through it.“ I didn’t really think I’d be writing about it for this blog. That was until I really looked at the first set of pictures and knew this one was something different. This one is something special.
Wonders of the Plant Kingdom: A Microcosm Revealed
by Wolfgang Stuppy, Rob Kesseler & Madeline Harley
Published by University of Chicago Press, February, 2015
If you do nothing else with this book besides marvel at the pictures, it would still likely be an education. The authors, two botanists, and an artist used a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to capture incredibly detailed, high-resolution images of seeds, flowers, pollen, and other botanical components.
The sheer variety and ingenuity of these creations amaze.
For some odd reason, I kept thinking that if the prosthetic makeup artists on the competition TV show Face Off need inspiration, this would be a great source. Nature here truly exhibits radical creativity. But I digress…
While the photography definitely steals the show, the text describes each feature and function in clear, accessible language.
Why you should not miss this one:
- even though several years old, this is still a state-of-the-art work,
- just when you think you might be starting to know a thing or two about nature, this will recalibrate your thoughts.