As a kid, I spend my summers in Maine and Canada canoe-tripping through some of the most pristine lands in North America, but the forests that lined those rivers and lakes appeared as nothing but a green wall to me. It was all a giant beautiful mess of life that I could never piece apart or understand.
So in the past 2 years, when I began paying closer attention to the plants I found around me here in Western North Carolina and the ones I've cultivated in my garden, that green wall began to disappear. It dissolved into some more spectacular, more beautiful. I saw diversity, patterns, and life everywhere in a way I hadn't before. Now when I walk out to my driveway I no longer see just green below my feet... I see chickweed, plantains (not the banana-like fruit), lambs quarter, burdock, and more. When I plant new herbs and vegetables in my garden I see how some are related in structure while others are related by the kind of soil, watering, or light they need. The forest is no longer an immense indecipherable landscape to walk though. Instead, it has become a place where I find great wonder in the details around me.
As my interest in plants has grown I have begun photographing them in my photo studio. For anyone that played Pokemon as a kid (I certainly did), collecting these images feels like adding new plants into my Pokedex. I spend hours with each plant, collecting it, identifying it, preserving it to photograph, photographing it, and then editing the images. By the end, I feel like I have a relationship with each plant I bring into my studio. This only heightens my awareness of these plants when I leave the studio to wade through the green wall again.
Below are some of the botanical studies I've done so far. While I am an expert in photography, I am certainly not an expert in botany. Therefore, I am totally open to hearing suggested corrections in my identification of these plants. If anyone is interested in purchasing prints of these images or want updates when new images are posted, please sign up for the email list at the bottom of the blog post. I will send an email out when I am ready to start producing print versions of this work. Enjoy!