The Plants

No plants were harmed in the production of this website. Actually, that is not entirely true. Paper was used. We have driven thousands of miles, emitting who knows how many pollutants. But what I am getting at, is that generally speaking the plants as you see them in the images are how we saw them naturally occurring. I say “generally” because “gardening” is something that we do. We may remove a twig here or there, or sometimes even do some minor weeding in order to remove distractions. When we have gardened pictures we do not remove or damage any plants that might be uncommon or rare. One time we did cut down 53 trees so that we could get a picture of one tree growing in the open (I’m kidding). Actually, the most major weeding we have done was to remove, or attempt to remove, a sapling that was growing out of the crotch of a sassafras. So “gardening” means mostly minor removal of some unwanted elements. We don’t generally make arrangements, pick up a leaf and lay it somewhere else, or spray water on a flower to give it that dewy look.

We take pictures both of plants that are growing naturally of their own accord, and those that were planted by somebody. Our preference is for those that planted themselves (or by squirrel, blue jay, etc.) because they usually have a much better story to tell. They can tell you about the soil they grow in, the amount of rainfall they receive, how long ago the area was disturbed, and many other things about themselves and their environment. When a person plants something, the plant tells a story mostly about that person. This could still be an interesting story, but it generally would not be as educational and would not inform you as much about the plant, its surroundings, and its history. When we do take pictures of planted plants it is sometimes in order to show how they can be used in a landscape. Other times it is just because they present a good picture opportunity. For each of our images we use our best judgment to determine whether or not the subject was planted.

Some plants are more common than others. Some are also more photogenic than others. If you see a large tree growing in an open farm field, it has a pretty high probability of being a white oak (the background tree on the main page) or a black walnut. Although they are both very beautiful trees, when you are trying to bag some new species to add to the website you can get a little tired of them. But if they’re nice enough, chances are that we’ll still stop and try to capture them. So it should come as no surprise that we have more images of some plants than of others. This isn’t necessarily our intention, but just the way things fall into place. A nice pie in the sky goal would be to take at least one picture of every species of plant growing on the planet. Naturally, this is not going to happen. However, we are trying to take pictures of as many species as we can. If you would like to pay our yearly salaries and expenses, we could vastly speed up the process.