"The personality of the collector is evident in the way they arrange the specimens on the page. Some glue the plant down as a clump, ripped straight from the earth, with dirt still clinging to the roots. Others spend time separating out each leaf and frond and arranging the specimen in a more deliberate way, often creating a page of startling beauty. Some collectors take and glue a single specimen, and others attach multiple examples on the same archival sheet of paper. In this way the act of specimen preservation becomes a sort of signature of the collector." -- Field Study by Helen Humphreys This is an interesting little book. It's a memoir, work of nature writing, history of herbariums, and study of a particular herbarium that still exists in Canada. There are many color pictures of the herbarium samples themselves as well, and many of them are very beautiful to look at. The premise for this book is that Helen Humphreys discovered a still existing herbarium near her home, and no stranger to nature writing, got permission to go through the entire collection. And then, she wrote this book on the experience. Reading my own description makes it sound boring, but the book is so peaceful and relaxing. It kind of feels like you've come across an herbarium yourself, you're looking at some of the collection, which is on display, and you're being accompanied by a local volunteer, who is just thrilled that someone has stepped in and is more than happy to tell you everything she knows. If you enjoy reading about nature, history, and/or museums, I would very much recommend this book. 🌿 By the way, a huge thank you to @MotherofHeleus who recommended this book to me! I hadn't heard of it until she brought it up.
Posted by thewintersings at 2023-08-08 23:10:25 UTC