The weather forecast calls for a few more cold days in the canyon; a good time to hang out in the visitor center and look at the newly-refurbished herbarium. If you say: "Herbarium? What herbarium?" - it's time for a visit.
Joan Tedford, Plant Goddess, began work on the herbarium in 1994. She collected and mounted all - yes, all - of the samples. (There are at least 180!) The stand was constructed in 1999 and the herbarium went on display in the visitor center that year. Some samples were added later, but the bulk of the collection was due for a good cleaning and re-taping; many of the botanical names had also changed in the intervening decade. A committee of committed 'bot-heads' (composed of Peggy Wenrick, Debbie Bird, and me, with Joan Tedford as our mentor, teacher, and meeting hostess) was formed to take charge of the cleaning and general upkeep of the herbarium. I am pleased to report that we've finished this cleaning and re-taping. (Be sure to thank yourself for providing the tape - via the Forest Service.)
I urge you to go into the visitor center, take a left into the display area, and spend some time marveling at this incredible resource that Joan created. The samples in the Sabino Canyon Herbarium are works of art in their own right. Prepare for the impending spring bloom by taking a look!