Happy 150th Birthday to Beatrix Potter: conservationist, scientist, artist, author and businesswoman!

Beatrix Potter 150th birthday tribute

Today is Beatrix Potter's 150th birthday! And what a day it is in England, with celebrations, an auction selling some of her original works and a series of Royal Mail stamps depicting several of her famous characters.

Some of what inspired me to include Beatrix Potter as one of Piratess Tilly's heroes is Potter's dedication to land conservationism. With the money she made from her books, she bought the adjoining lands and farms in the Lake District of England in order to save and protect them — eventually donating 4,000 acres of land and 15 farms to the National Trust.

Piratess Tilly Potter and Darwin sample pageBeatrix Potter was also passionate about botany and specifically the study of fungi — a scientist in her own right, she developed her own theory on how fungi spores reproduced. Her scientific paper was never properly published, but scientists today still recognize her contribution to mycology.

Potter was also not only a talented artist and writer, but she was a keen businesswoman — creating and licensing the first ever literary character doll and other accompanying accessories. And, as so many know, she published her first book, The Tales of Peter Rabbit, on her own — a self-publisher! I look forward to one day visiting the Lake District and seeing for myself the beauty that inspired such a phenomenal, adventurous woman.

PIratess Tilly Beatrix Potter Picture books

And as The Adventures of Piratess Tilly is a children's picture book, I'd like to take a moment to share two children's picture books that my little one and I enjoy about Beatrix Potter: Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box by David McPhail and Beatrix Potter by Alexandra Wallner. I have also ordered this newly released book: Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Charlotte Voake. I look forward to adding it to our collection!

 Learn more about Beatrix Potter here!

Birthday Tribute Haiku: Dr. Jane Goodall

Today is Dr. Jane Goodall's 82nd birthday. She has inspired so many, including myself. I took a primate biology class my senior year of high school and remember being awe-struck by her fearlessness, observation, brilliance, passion and perseverance. She continues to speak and share her decades of experiences in the jungle, while calling upon each of us to own our individual responsibility in caring for and protecting our environment. For those with children and teens, I encourage you to read more about Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots community action programs. It's a wonderful way to inspire our youth and to keep Dr. Goodall's spirit prominent.

We owe so much to her grace and hard work bringing the world together in the name of Conservationism. I have taken a moment today to write a haiku in honor of Dr. Goodall. It's been combined with my very first collagraph, which was inspired by a riverbed. May each of us take a moment today to meditate upon her legacy and upon the importance of fighting for Mother Nature. 

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