Working with a botanists is really challenging. You will definitely never see leaves the same anymore after you meet with them. Once I looked into my binoculars with my botanist colleagues.
“Felicia, look that green leaves colour purpled-ish and the other one bluish and that one with reddish tip”
‘Man, all I can see just green leaves all around!!” (Me think more to find any differences).
They surely can find leaves and trees in different colours. This somehow made me think and remind back about my plant morphology course in university. It might be not-the-most-favourite-course after all but I love learning new latin names :) In fact, the more you see you will believe and see the differences. The key is to EXPLORE and IDENTIFICATION!!!
Seee this is totally different??!!! Photos on the left is Shorea quadrinervis and other is not!! You can see quad = four and nervis = nerves. It does make sense :)
Well if that’s only from their own sightings, you may check their brain as well. I am trully remember when Pak Kursani, he’s a plant expert based in Central Kalimantan with more than 20 years experience, identifies one leaves over another and I asked how does he knows all of them?
He says, “Well it totally just different and you will know if already run the business for quite long time”
I am guessing somehow many of botanists have photographic memories and get the largest library ever right in their head! MIND PALACE YEAH!!! So the key once again is your EXPERIENCES!
(You may want to check Charles Augustus Magnussen from SHERLOCK S3E3: His Last Vow ~ that guy is awesome character although super irritating in the same time!! botanist is still more awesome though hehe).
Too bad all his kids does not want to have his talent and follow their father’s road. He also concerned with all his books which enourmously loads of them at his personal library/house and external drives when he passed away. Many of his friends and colleagues from many years have been kindly give these books as gifts or either he copied it by himself. After all most of plants and botany books are incredibly expensive like many other science books!!
(Pak Kursani is Chilax-ing ++ actually this is work in progress hehe)
You will spot many of them congregate in groups, walk super slowly and hunch back to find different kind of leaves on the forest floor while other checking tree canopies with super-sensitive-light-absorbent binoculars. At home you will see that they will bring many leaves, fruits, and flowers in their special bag for dry collection (herbarium). So behold if you see them! They might be dangerous and sensitive at the time for leaf identification :D
(Other Indonesian friends & colleagues who are also a botanist. Left to right: Arief Hamidi, Aseng Tan, Arifin Surya Dwipa Irsyam, and Kursani Sumantri. Glad I know all of them but where is the girls???).