Chance Particulars: The joys of looking up and down

 Experience here the rhapsodies of William Beebe, an oceanographer born in 1877, who found a prime source of happiness in observing the world:

‘The supreme joy of learning, of discovering, of adding tiny facts to the foundation of the everlasting why of the universe; all this makes life one never-ending delight.”

 “Boredom is immoral…All man has to do is see. All about us nature puts on the most thrilling adventure stories ever created, but we have to use our eyes. I was walking across our compound last month when a queen termite began building her miraculous city. I saw it because I was looking down. One night three giant fruit bats flew over the face of the moon. I saw them because I was looking up. To some men the jungle is a tangled place of heat and danger. But, to the man who can see, its vines and plants form a beautiful and carefully ordered tapestry.”

-From the marvelous compendium of field notebooks, Explorers’ Sketchbooks: The Art of Discovery and Adventure, by Huw Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert

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