Solo Botanical Notes

Job thread. Sophia learns how to take accurate botanical notes.

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role play forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

Moderator: Gossamer

Botanical Notes

Postby Sophia Sunshore on August 14th, 2018, 10:53 am

71, Summer, 518 a.v.

Sophia peered with wide eyes around the cave, while Uta looked on with a small smile. ”You’ve found all of these yourself?” The young woman was ogling over a vast collection of beautifully preserved plants and seeds, ranging from full branches to single flower heads. Uta nodded, her dual toned hair shifting to fall over her face slightly. “Yes. Before you got here absolutely everything was covered in plants and nobody really knew what any of them were. I’ve been storing every single thing I’ve found down here since the settlement was founded.”

”How come they’re all so perfect still?” Uta moved over to stand next to Sophia before answering. “Ah, well this cave is why. It’s the driest place I have found so far, and it seems to help preserve everything well. If you look at most of the plants, you should notice that they have been dried. That stops them from wilting among other things.” Sophia crouched closer to the nearest specimen to see what Uta was talking about, as the botanist continued on. “You could do this yourself too if you wanted. At a basic level, all you have to do is press whatever specimen you have between paper and under enough weight to press all the moisture out. I don’t mind you leaving specimens to dry here but let me know if you ever come down and don’t mess up anything else. Label yours so I know too.” Sophia nodded before standing.
“Well I need to sort some things out here, why don’t you head back up and carry on working on your notes?”

With another nod, Sophia made her way out of the cave and along the narrow winding path back up to Uta’s Place. She settled herself behind the desk and pulled her journal towards her. At the moment it was a mish mash of pages alternating between copies of excerpts from Uta’s notebooks and notes she had taken herself while the pair had been out in the field. At the moment, Uta had Sophia working on improving both her drawing skills and her note writing. The botanist had told her that there were specific ways to go about writing things, especially when you were out working. She hoped that was what she would learn when Uta was finished down at the cave.

For now, she flipped through the notes until a particular plant caught her eye. The flower was striking, like nothing she had seen before, and Uta had coloured it with a purple stain. Turning to a fresh page in her own journal, Sophia tried to copy the intricate flower herself. She started with the centre first, drawing lines for the prominent stamens. There were five arranged in a star shape, and then three more sat on top of those. Next, there were thin, feathery petals – or what she assumed were petals, around the centre. They were thin enough that she settled on a single line for each. Hopefully she would be able to get some colour down to make it clearer. Finally, she drew in the larger, more normal petals around these. Sophia squinted at her drawing. She was certainly improving, but she still had a ways to go. Hopefully a bit of colour would make it look better.

At the top of the page went the name. Passionfruit. Next, she copied over the appropriate labels for the flower. Stigma, style, petal, anther, corona, sepal. Finally, down went the notes. The passionfruit is a vine plant. It has a large spread – have found a specimen of 25ft. Bright purple/blue petals arranged around a white centre with yellow/green organs. Leaves are bright green, oval shaped and taper to a point with serrated edges. When the flower dies back the vine produces fruits that ripen from green to purple. The inside of the fruit is filled with juicy, seedy pulp.

+647
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 214
Words: 193962
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

Botanical Notes

Postby Sophia Sunshore on August 14th, 2018, 11:17 am


Footsteps sounded, and Sophia looked round to see Uta making her way up into the house, a few plant specimens in her hands. The botanist came to peer over her shoulder at the drawing. “Not bad, you’re definitely getting better.” The plants were set down at the other end of the desk. “I thought I would run through how to keep a proper journal with you. It’s all well and good copying mine, but you should know how to do it yourself. I’ve seen your notes from our expeditions. They’re good, but you don’t get all the useful bits down.” Sophia nodded and flipped to a new page in her journal.

“Firstly, you always forget to write down the basics. What day is it? Is it sunny? Hot? Where are you? Stuff like that. It’s always important to do so, as you then have the conditions and location of the plants you find.” ”I never thought of that…” Diligently, notes were scribbled down. Date, time, location, weather. “It also helps to have a map, though I know we have mine at the moment. If you can get hold of one you might find it useful. Don’t attempt to copy it unless you’re 100% sure of your skill or else you’ll get things wrong and will probably get lost. If you have time you could try and do a basic map of your immediate area to highlight any markers though.”

“How you organise the rest of your page is up to you, but you need to make sure you have the useful information somewhere. You want to record exact locations of plants. Are they in a large group or growing alone? Are they growing on something else or is it a home itself? Flowers? Make sure to note colour, size etcetera. Does the plant have lots of flowers or just one? The same for fruits. Leaves and stems are perhaps the easiest to neglect but you absolutely do not want to do that. They’re the things that are always there – the flowers and fruits are temporary. What colour are the leaves? What shape? Does the trunk have any defining features? Make sure to get enough description that you’d be able to find it again.”

Sophia’s head reeled for a moment before she noted down the points Uta was making.
Plants: Groups or singular? What else is growing around it? Is it a host or using a host?
Flowers: Colour, size, number. Unique features.
Fruit: Colour, size, number. Unique features.
Leaves: Shape, size, colour.
Trunk/stem: Colour, thickness, unique features.


Uta paused for a moment to let Sophia write, inspecting the woman’s notes. “Good. It seems like a lot, but the more you do it, the less you will have to think about it.” Uta stepped back again to continue speaking. “You’ll also want to take a sketch. Preferably you’ll draw the plant as a whole, or as much as you can. So if it’s a tree you’ll want to try and get the trunk with a branch to show the leaves for example. And then you can do details. A single leaf or flower. Make sure to label what you can, though if you don’t have time that can wait as long as you have the drawing.”
”Why is drawing so important if you can just bring back a specimen?” Sophia’s mind went back to the cave filled with beautiful plants that she had seen earlier. Uta nodded slowly. “Good question. Sometimes, you won’t be able to take a specimen. You might not have the time, the plant could be poisonous, or there could be some adverse condition that makes it impossible. Even if you can take a specimen it is always a good idea to sketch anyway, in case you lose your sample, or accidentally destroy it somehow.”

“Finally, I always like to keep a list of everything else I see or observe while I am out. There is so much wildlife around and if you look carefully you will be able to see that particular things like particular plants. You don’t need to go into details, but it might be useful to just note down everything else you find in the area you are studying.”

Uta moved over to the desk and put another notebook down next to the one Sophia had been copying from. She flipped it open to show pages filled with scribbled notes and little sketches. “See here, it doesn’t have to be perfect. This is the book I always take with me. Look, I do an initial page with the location details and a quick list of plants and animals. Then the next pages are used for more detail. Then when I come back I transfer notes into the books I’ve been letting you copy so that each plant gets a full write up that I can keep adding to as I study more in depth. You might want to try and get another notebook so you can do the same. Let’s call it a day here, and we can head out tomorrow – there a place I want to check out and you can try your hand at taking field notes.”

+865
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 214
Words: 193962
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

Botanical Notes

Postby Sophia Sunshore on August 14th, 2018, 2:59 pm

72, Summer, 518 a.v.

Bright and early the next morning, Sophia made her way over to Uta’s Place. Her backpack contained the usual items – some fruit, her waterskin, journal, and anything she might need if they extended their time among the trees unexpectedly. The trip was not meant to take long however, and they were not going far. Uta had said that she had found a place where she wanted to try to grow some of the plants that don’t do so well closer to the beach. She thought it might be useful to have a well-known, safer area within the jungles near to her home where she, or anyone else, could go.

They set out a few chimes after Sophia arrived. ”Why do you specifically want to grow stuff? I thought you were just recording?” There was a pause as the pair negotiated stepping over a series of high, exposed roots. “I want to observe how certain plants grow. It could be useful.” They continued on, taking a route that Uta seemed to know fairly well. It didn’t take long, and soon they reached what appeared to be a natural clearing. Sophia could hear water somewhere off to the right, and ahead stood possibly the largest and most interesting tree Sophia had seen so far. Uta quickly set about with her own task, and Sophia pulled out her journal to practice taking proper field notes.

Summer 72, early morning.
Hot, damp. No breeze.
40 chimes walk north-east from Uta’s Place.

Sophia paused in her note taking for a moment to contemplate a map. Deciding against it she instead tried for a rough sketch of the area. It was fairly plain as there didn’t seem to be a lot here at the moment – possibly the reason Uta had picked this particular place for her project. First she set down the wide base of the strange tree up ahead. She walked over to the right, and sure enough there was a thin stream a little way over, so she drew that in. Next she put down a few lines to hint at a thicker canopy off to the left, and then roughly shaded the area in the middle to indicate the clearing itself. She frowned at the paper – it wasn’t great, but it would do.

The most obvious thing to move on to next was the tree that had caught her attention. It appeared to have one large, main trunk overlaid with tens of slender secondary ones. She had never seen anything like it before. She peered closer – the main trunk was barely visible but it definitely looked different to the others surrounding it. A quick sketch went down on one side of her page of the twisting trunks with the reaching branches overhead before she added her notes. Large, singular tree. Little else around it – maybe it is taking all the nutrients due to size? Small secondary trunks overlapping one main trunk. Thick canopy of bright green leaves.

She tipped her head back to look up at the branches overhead. They were far too high for her to be able to draw a sample. She squinted as she spotted movement, and quickly realised it was a monkey. Stepping back, she could see that there were a couple above her and she smiled. They didn’t appear to be too fussed with the presence of the two women, the tree was keeping them occupied. It looked like at least one of them was eating something and she added a note. Fruit bearing? Monkeys up in the branches appear to be feeding.

Uta came up behind her to see what she was looking at. The botanist let out a chuckle and Sophia realised she was looking at her notes. “That’s a strangler fig. Those ‘secondary trunks’ are the fig which is living off that tree underneath it. The roots of the fig are well established now so that poor tree in there is probably dead by now.” Uta patted her on the shoulder before going back to her own work. Sophia inspected the trunks even closer and could now clearly see the host tree beneath. Strangler fig. NOT secondary trunks! Roots of fig tree have enveloped and killed host tree.

+703
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 214
Words: 193962
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

Botanical Notes

Postby Sophia Sunshore on August 14th, 2018, 3:01 pm


She decided to move on from the fig for now - there was no way she could reach any of the leaves or fruit to take accurate sketches or descriptions. She knew what figs looked and tasted like anyway, so she could add that in later. Her initial thought had been that the area was largely empty in comparison to the wider rainforest, but she was most definitely wrong. Examining the ground she saw countless insects – most of them some type of ant, but there were definitely other species there too. Closer to the edge of the clearing, nearer the trees, small plants were popping up. There were beautiful ferns and a few mushrooms too.

More notes and sketches went down in the journal. Lots of ferns growing in clusters near the base of trees. Can count at least 5 different types on one tree. Some appear to be growing off the tree itself. Sophia paused for a moment to try and remember the appropriate word. Epiphytes. She also took the time to sketch the mushrooms that she could see, including a large flat one that looked like a plate. 3 different types of mushroom in the immediate area. All growing off a host. Moving up through the layers of the rainforest into the understory there were spindly trees, shrubs and bromeliads – which she knew were a particular favourite of Uta. In an area that contained the trunks of only three fairly large trees that grew to the canopy, Sophia found countless other species on and around them. Her mind boggled. She managed to count over 23 types of bromeliads and philodendrons before she gave up.

From the canopy layer, she noted what she could see from the ground including the liana vines, and she spotted what appeared to be a beautiful, bright flower growing way up out of reach. It didn’t look like a bromeliad, and she called Uta over to look. “Huh, I’m not sure from this distance. I’ve found a few flowers that I’ve been calling orchids – it might be one of them, but I’ve never got one from that high up before. It looks a bit like one anyway.” Sophia noted the name down with a question mark. ”How have you managed to do this all on your own? There’s just so much!” Uta grinned. “There is, but I love doing this.” She peered at Sophia’s notes. “Those are great, you seem to have a good overview of our area here which is what you always missed previously.”

Uta cut off as a fat drop of rain plinked onto the top of Sophia’s journal. The Svefra quickly shut the book and stuffed it into her pack before the heavens opened. In the jungle it doesn’t rain, it pours. Within seconds the pair were soaked through to the skin and Sophia blinked at the botanist through dripping eyelashes. “I think it’s time to go!” Uta practically had to shout at her as the sound of the rain on the millions of leaves around them was almost deafening. As quickly as they could, the two women made their way out of the clearing. The canopy ahead offered a little cover, but ultimately the rains easily made it through to them thanks to the sheer amount of water falling from the sky.

Back at Uta’s Place, Sophia said goodbye to the botanist before heading back to her home. Randal had not long finished the simple structure for her, and Sophia shrugged off her pack before rolling down the canvas along the back side. It wasn’t windy, just wet, and she stripped off her soaking clothes, so they could eventually dry out when the deluge passed. Retrieving her journal, she flicked through the pages to make sure that nothing had been ruined and was relieved to find that her pack was indeed waterproof. She made a mental note to purchase a second journal where she could keep her proper write-ups before reading over her notes from today. She felt like she was actually on her way to being able to properly help Uta now – maybe soon she would be trusted with a project of her own.

+696
>2911
NOTE: During the Fall Sophia is a Dhani, specifically a golden eyelash viper. See here for more detailed info.
User avatar
Sophia Sunshore
Plant Lady
 
Posts: 214
Words: 193962
Joined roleplay: July 5th, 2018, 5:26 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human, Mixed
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Featured Character (1)

Botanical Notes

Postby Orakan on May 1st, 2019, 4:15 am

Image

ImageSophia
Image

Skills
● Observation - 4XP
● Interrogation - 3XP
● Botany - 3XP
● Drawing - 3XP
● Copying - 1XP
● Writing - 4XP
● Organisation - 1XP
● Socialisation – 2XP
● Logic – 1XP
● Mathematics – 1XP
● Planning – 1 XP

Lores
● Uta: Has been storing plants since Syka was founded
● Botany: Preserve plants by drying them
● Botany: Keep dried plants in a dry place
● Location: Uta's Cave
● Botany: Plant pressing process to remove moisture from plants
● Uta's Cave: Free to use to dry own plants as long as Uta knows in advance
● Organisation: The importance of labelling dried and drying plants
● Botany: Common flower anatomy
● Drawing: Botanical sketch of a passionfruit flower: Start from the centre and work outwards
● Drawing: Adding colour can help define the parts of a botanical sketch
● Copying: Mirroring Uta's notes in your own journal
● Writing: Labelling the parts of a botanical sketch
● Botany: Passionfruit Flower: Appearance
● Botany: Passionfruit: Appearance, plant type, flowering cycle and fruit description
● Research: Always mark time of day, location and conditions when taking field notes
● Planning: Always good to have a map on hand when going out in the field
● Cartography: Roughly map out surroundings as a guide if need be
● Botany: Important to mark all observable information, description and exact location of specimens when taking field notes
● Botany: Sketch as much of the specimen as possible, including extra sketches of definable features when taking field notes
● Research: Label everything you can on sketches when taking field notes
● Botany: Not always able to take live specimens so it's important to take the time to sketch them
● Research: Try to note what wildlife is around when taking field notes
● Research: Having one journal to make rough field notes in and another for more organised, detailed and elaborate notes
● Uta: Grows her own plants to study
● Drawing: Sketching your surroundings
● Botany: Strangler Fig: Appearance and growth habit
● Botany: Epiphytes
● Bromeliades: Uta's favourite
● Botany: Liana Vines: Appearance
● Botany: Bromeliade: Appearance
● Botany: Philodendron: Appearance

Misc/Penalities/Loot
+1 Passionfruit flower sketch
+1 Basic area sketch
+1 Strangler fig sketch
+1 Mushroom sketch
New journal entries on:
  • Passionfruit
  • Strangler fig
  • Ferns
  • Epiphytes
  • Mushrooms
  • Orchid?
ImageComments
Image

Happy to see you return and apologies it took so long for you to get this grade! I wasn't 100% certain on whether the field note lores best suited Research or Botany so do let me know if you would like these changed. This goes for anything else; if you want anything elaborated upon, I'll be happy to do so.

Beautiful and informative job thread :) Thanks for the read! Do let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding your grade and don't forget to delete/edit your request in the grading queue.
Image
“The means to every crime is ours,
and we employ them all,
we multiply the horror a hundredfold.”

Image Image
User avatar
Orakan
Lost Boy
 
Posts: 183
Words: 101764
Joined roleplay: July 7th, 2015, 1:52 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Plotnotes
Medals: 1
Mizahar Grader (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests