flowers pictured and described in this book are ones that I have
personally found, identified and photographed in Beaver County,
Pennsylvania. Other flowers in our region have not been included
and other guidebooks should be consulted if identification cannot
be made with this one. There are several excellent guides, each
with its strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps the single most useful
one is Petersons Guide to Wildflowers. Each illustration was
drawn by Roger Tory Peterson, and this presentation makes it possible
to emphasize certain characteristic features better than a photograph.
A photograph has the advantage of actually "looking like"
a flower, and the Audubon Guide uses photographs. Petersons
is the most inclusive of the popular guides, and almost all local
species are included.
pocket magnifying glass is very helpful in studying wild flowers.
For those interested in photographing them a single lens reflex
camera with a macro lens is essential. As a personal preference
I have used only natural light in photography, but a flash attachment
can be very helpful in dim light, especially in shady woods.
should one look for flowers? Anywhere and everywhere. Many species,
particularly those introduced from elsewhere and not native to our
area are common in roadsides. Some are easy to spot from a moving
car, but identification means parking in a safe place and examining
the flower at close range. Native species, particularly those blooming
in spring and early summer, are commonest in wooded areas. Stream
banks are fruitful searching places. Perhaps the most neglected
areas are waste spaces, even in urban areas; empty lots, along sidewalks,
or even in sidewalk cracks. Mustards, rockroses and purslanes literally
abound in such areas, but the flowers are small and easily missed.
a little time and attention a surprising number of species can be
found and identified in our area. If I have "hooked" a
few people on the beauty and fascination of wild flowers, the preparation
of this material has been worthwhile.