I have been making botanical prints of grasses since shortly after 18 February 2006. On that day I was taking a birding class at Bear Creek, a natural area west of Houston famous among birders for its diversity of woodland birds. Between viewing spots, I became transfixed by a small grass just beginning to bloom there amid the dry reservoir bed. I picked it up and twirled it around to see it from all sides. My friend Mary observed my fascination and came over to see what I had found.
"I'll bet this would print," I ventured.
"Well, Dave, if anyone could do it, you could."
She didn't ask, 'Why would you want to do that?' She had already learned that I might well print anything. I later learned these tiny grasses were Poa annua, and they were the first plants I printed on an etching press.
Grasses in general are particularly well-suited for enduring the rigorous treatment of being crushed in an etching press and holding onto their structure enough to be removed from the press and paper. Since I have a great interest in taxonomy, all the specimens of grasses used include enough plant structures so an informed viewer would be able to identify them. The taxonomy of grasses depends mostly on the inflorescense, so all the specimens are in flower.