Learning the Names
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 9:44AM
[chuck] in Don Manuel Chota, Jenaro Herrera, Science, ethnobotany


I've always liked this photo.  This is Elysa and Don Manuel Chota in the arboretum at the Centro de Investigaciones de Jenaro Herrera (see Jenaro Herrera and Herbarium Specimens) in Peru going over the names of some of the trees.  Don Manuel was an amazing woodsman.  He not only knew the local names and uses of a large majority of the trees, but, after years of working with Swiss botanists, he also knew the Latin names.  What is not so visible in the photo is that Don Manuel also wore big, clunky, black glasses, and in later years his eyes started to fail him. You would have to describe the plant to him in great detail to get the name. [NOTE: Don Manuel's wife made my wedding cake].  


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