If not, come to the Rye Nature Center, look over our herbarium, and learn what it was that you saw. Just in case you don't know what a herbarium is, it is a library of pressed plants, often used for scientific study.
Our library contains over 200 pressed specimens of plants, which we have found in the forest that surrounds the Rye Nature Center. There are specimens of trees, shrubs, ferns, wildflowers, vines, and grasses. All of which we are still collecting.
As soon as the weather warms up and things start growing, we'll start hunting for plants missing from the collection. We don't even know what they may be, but, ironically, we'll recognize them because we won't recognize them. Know what we mean?
You may be wondering, why do we have an herbarium? It's education. It's the same reason you visit a museum, read a new book, study a language or take a new class...to learn and continue to learn. We love the Earth and all its inhabitants (plants and animals alike) but can you truly love something you've never met or cannot call by name?
So we would like to introduce you to the plants that surround you...each by name. We encourage you to stop in and look at our herbarium. Call for an appointment and we'll have a naturalist there to show it to you or if you find yourself free on a Wednesday or Thursday morning, drop in, and ask for Michael. Then the next time you take that walk in the woods, you'll know what you're looking at and can greet them by name.
-Michael Penziner, Volunteer