For several years I scoured the roadsides, the hills, the ravines, the wetlands for wild plants with the idea of writing wildflower guides. I amassed over 400 plants in pictures and wrote pages about a hundred or more of them.
Why should I bother with writing wildflower guides? I am not a botanist. I can barely follow the descriptions in a botanical description. The identification keys are a struggle.
More to the point, this information is easily accessible both on the internet at places like www.missouriplants.com and in print in books like the three volume “Flora of Missouri”, “Missouri Wildflowers” and “Ozark Wildflowers”. Why should I attempt to duplicate these? Leave writing wildflower guides to the experts.
I love taking pictures of plants and flowers. It is challenging to get that great shot. In sunlight or shade? What about glare? What about the plants around it? How do you picture a vine? How do you get to flowers several feet or tens of feet over your head?
The pile of pictures continued to accumulate. They filled a 16 GB flashkey. Another flashkey is now half full.
Some of the pictures end up on the website. If you are a regular visitor, you’ve seen them. Most of them sit on the flashkey for years.
My dream of writing wildflower guides had met reality and faded away. I tried to stop taking so many plant photographs, but couldn’t. And then I came across “Missouri In Flight” by Mundy Hackett.
This book wasn’t a bird guidebook, but was. It wasn’t a picture book of bird photographs, but was. It was about both the bird photographs and including a short comment about each bird.
In writing wildflower guides the author has one picture of a plant and a lengthy description of the plant. What I love are the pictures and there are never enough of them or enough details in them.
So, instead of writing wildflower guides, I will hope to do wildflower photograph books with short commentaries and names of each plant. My stash of wildflower photographs is growing again.