May 22 – Happy Birthday, Margaret Mee

Posted May 22, 2015

The Amazon always had the allure of the exotic – and I am talking here about the world's largest river and largest tropical rainforest.

(I'm not talking about the popular online marketplace for books, streaming video, and almost everything else, from a giant pack of toilet paper to a dog mullet headband with hair extensions!)

In case you are thinking, "I thought that the Nile
was the largest rive in the world," I wanted to point
out that the Nile is the LONGEST river in the world.
The Amazon is largest by volume of water.
Today's famous birthday was a British botanical artist (an artist who specialized in drawing plants) and environmentalist. Margaret Mee, born on this date in 1909, was one of the first people to draw the public's attention to the damage being done to the Amazon rainforest by large-scale mining and deforestation.

Born in England, she earned her degrees and began to teach in England, but then decided to travel to other nations. She was actually in Berlin in 1933, and she witnessed some of the early shenanigans by the Nazis, including a boycott of goods made and sold by Jewish people. She went back to England during the War, serving as a draughtswoman at an aircraft factory. That means that she made detailed technical plans and drawings so that workers would be able to build the planes.

In 1952, Mee moved to Brazil to teach art, but soon she joined expeditions exploring the Amazon Basin, and she became a botanical artist for various organizations. She published a book and helped put on protests to draw worldwide attention to the problems occurring in the Amazon.

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