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#AdventBotany Day 6: Fantastic Mastic by Maria Christodoulou

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By Maria Christodoulou As we are entering the countdown to Christmas, preparations for the festive season reach new levels. For me, this usually involves a panicked trip to the shops with my Christmas list, the realisation that I’ve run out of wrapping paper minutes before closing time, and the overwhelming smell of dried oranges and…

via #AdventBotany Day 6: Fantastic Mastic — Culham Research Group

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#AdventBotany Day 5: Ivy by Dawn Bazely

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By Dawn Bazely Hibberd’s monograph on Ivy comes in an ivy green cover The first Advent Botany post, on December 1st, 2014, was about ivy, that most classic of British festive season species. English Ivy, as it’s known in North America (Hedera helix) is an evergreen woody climbing plant. It is native to much of Europe…

via #AdventBotany Day 5: Ivy — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 4: The Glastonbury Thorn by Karen Andrews

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By Karen Andrews Botanists are no strangers to muddy boots. Glastonbury conjures up an image today of muddy wellingtons at its famous pop music festival. The town also possesses a unique botanical heritage with a strong Christmas connection. A first day cover featuring the Glastonbury Thorn History and Legend Entwined Glastonbury is located on the…

via #AdventBotany Day 4: The Glastonbury Thorn — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 3: Was the ‘golden apple of discord’ a quince? by Amy Smith

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By Amy Smith Can we identify the round objects to which the woman reaches on this ancient Athenian red-figure mug in the Ure Museum of Greek archaeology at Reading? An Athenian Red Figure mug at the URE Museum Perhaps she is reaching towards round fruit: apple or quince? Even with the best artist, we are…

via #AdventBotany Day 3: was the ‘golden apple of discord’ a quince? — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 2: Cultivated Cranberries beyond the Festive Season by Dawn Bazely

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By Dawn Bazely I would definitely bet that when Alastair and Jonathan launched Advent Botany in 2014, they never imagined that the annual series would still be going four years later! I thought their idea was fun and original, and I contributed to posts on popular North American festive plants: red-osier dogwood, poinsettia and amaryllis.…

via #AdventBotany Day 2: Cultivated Cranberries beyond the Festive Season — Culham Research Group

#AdventBotany Day 1 – Christmas Cherry or the not-so-false Jerusalem Cherry by Alastair Culham

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By Alastair Culham The Christmas Cherry is a small, soft-leaved, shrub bearing many small white flowers through the summer that develop into bright orange-red fruit in the autumn. It is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae) along with potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco and many other crops. Christmas cherry photographed in my front garden in November This shrub…

via #AdventBotany Day 1 – Christmas Cherry or the not-so-false Jerusalem Cherry — Culham Research Group

The curious life of a museum curator

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Thank you for a great summary of the role of curator. Now we have something to direct people to when they ask!

NatSCA

Working as a curator in a museum is an odd job. It is the best job on the planet. But it is like no other I know of. There are an enormous range of daily tasks a curator carries out, and these are not without their quirks. Here are a few oddities museum curators deal with regularly:

Curators are not Indiana Jones

I’ve written about this before in more detail, but no, we are not Indiana Jones. When we introduce ourselves to new people, the response is sometimes ‘oh, just like Indiana Jones.’ This is a common misconception, albeit a rather flattering one. We do see some dangerous action in the field: dozens of beetles and flies on family friendly bug hunts, slipping on jagged rocks when rock pooling. However, some,many, most do not have whips under their beds. Curators do not steal ancient relics from temples (there are laws…

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