Beautiful, hand-colored hummingbird engravings »

Pablo Neruda – Ode to a Hummingbird

From scarlet to dusty gold,
to yellow flames,
to the rare
ashen emerald,
to the orange and black velvet
of our girdle gilded by sunflowers,
to the sketch
amber thorns,
your Epiphany,
little supreme being,
you are a miracle,
shimmering ..

French physician and naturalist René Primevère Lesson (1794-1849) enlisted and served in the navy during the Napoleonic wars. In the 1820s he sailed around the world aboard La Coquillewith a scientific expedition headed by Louis-Isadore Duperrey.

Chief among Lesson’s duties during the voyage was collecting zoological specimens that served as the basis for a number of well regarded monographs. He is best remembered for the books he released on some of the most beautiful birds in the world: hummingbirds from the Americas and birds of paradise from New Guinea.


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