For hundreds of years scientists have been compelled to not only document plants, but also to draw them, paint them, capture their essence on paper.
In the 1700's, explorers like Captain James Cook traveled the world specifically to collect scientific specimens; he brought with him five illustrators and the expedition collected more than 30,000 plants--all of which were beautifully illustrated and are now catalogued in Europe.
Dayna Gross, Silver Creek preserve manager, continues that tradition in her free time at Silver Creek. The daughter of two U.S. Forest Service staff, she was entranced by wild plants at an early age.
“It was just natural that I would start drawing plants,” she says. “Botanical illustration has been around for hundreds of years. It is really a combination of science and art. I like to think that working at Silver Creek is the same way: a combination of science and art.”
“I love the challenges and rewards of working on a larger landscape, considering the long view. That’s what The Nature Conservancy does, here and around the world,” she continues. “But I also enjoy being able to focus on one specific part of that landscape, to hone in on a plant and examine it closely. It just always reminds me how many ways there are to see Silver Creek Preserve.”