Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Wild Plants and Wooly Bears

I recently bought an Apple computer from some friends, used but only one year old and state-of-the-art. One of the programs that came with the unit allows the user to make a slideshow from digital images. I immediately recognized that here, was a way to make a wild plant presentation and tailor it exactly to my needs and wants.

My first task was to import all my plant photos from my other computer. Now, the meat of the project comes into place, that is, choosing which photos to use, what information to provide, adding music, dialogue, of “voiceover” and so on. While time consuming, this is the most enjoyable project I ever took on.

My “slideshow” won’t be ready for another year or so, because I have decided that I want to show the plants during different stages of their development, which means taking lots more photos. This will help people to not only locate, but identify useful, wild plants beyond a shadow of a doubt. Get to know a plant inside and out, throughout the seasons. That’s my motto. In the end, I will have a salable, useful and one-of-a-kind package.

A side benefit of this is the joy I get from seeing my favorite, wild plants up close on a 17-inch screen. Digital photography has enabled me to take close-up photos I never before dreamed possible. Color slides, the old format, were never kind to me. But digital, ahhh…that’s different. Now, I can capture such treasures as the poison-filled spines on stinging nettles, miniature details on the dandelion-like blossoms of coltsfoot and the teeny hairs on the edge of Clintonia leaves.

So let it snow and blow outside. Inside, I sit at my new computer and revel in the glory of spring, thanks to some good friends and the remarkable, new technology that makes such doings possible.

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