The Most Versatile Impressionist In the Forest

Ernesto Gianoli wasn’t the first person to work out his frustrations with a walk in the woods, but the motivation behind that walk—and its results—were certainly unusual.

Gianoli studies the plants of Chile’s temperate rainforests. When he goes out into the field, he usually works to a tight schedule, involving dawn-to-dusk sampling and measuring. “One day, I felt that while being engaged in these work plans, we were missing the joy of the quiet observation of nature,” he says. “I told my students that I would dedicate some hours to walk slowly across the forest, just observing. And then it happened.”

Gianoli noticed that the leaves on one particular ...

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