John Porter | The Garden Professors | 13th August 2022
A horticultural judge explains what he looks for in a prizewinning vegetable. General health is a must, as is uniformity (if the rules ask for a dozen tomatoes, present a dozen of equal size, shape and colour). Most competitors fall down in the preparation: each vegetable requires a different harvesting technique, and specimens must be kept hydrated until the moment of judgment (1,615 words)
How Bird Collecting Became Birdwatching
Tim Birkhead | Smithsonian Magazine | 8th August 2022
Until the early 20th century, the relatively few people who wanted to study birds tended to catch and kill birds in order to do so. The arrival of decent binoculars in the early 1900s was a step change: Now anybody could study birds on the wing. Only after the Second World War did bird-watching become a mass pursuit — perhaps because so much of the world then longed for tranquility (1,600 words)
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