The Author

Tanya Harvey


Among the balsamroot at Horse Rock Ridge. Photo taken by Ingrid Ford.

I’m an amateur botanist and gardener who has been in love with plants as long as I can remember. Officially, I’m an artist, craftsperson, and designer (check out my work at, but almost all of my work revolves around plants and nature. My home is out in the country in Fall Creek in Lane County. That makes the Western Cascades my “backyard”. It is also close to the halfway point for these mountains in Oregon, making it easier for me to explore both the southern and northern ends of the Oregon part of the range. I spend as much time as I can botanizing the Western Cascades and, in the interests of science, conservation, and beauty, I feel it is important to share what I learn. Hence the website and the book.

I’ve been involved with a number of plant organizations since I moved to Oregon in 1992. I was the editor and designer of the Native Plant Society of Oregon’s monthly Bulletin from 2000 to 2008 and had previously put together the newsletter for the Hardy Plant Group in Eugene for a number of years. For eight years, I painted and designed posters and T-shirts for the Mount Pisgah Arboretum’s Wildflower and Mushroom Festivals (you can see these on my design website). Before its demise, I was the president of the Emerald Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society for several years. I’ve led many hikes for the NPSO and NARGS chapters as well as several for the local chapter of the North American Butterfly Association. I’ve also been giving slide lectures on plants and butterflies to various groups since 2003.

I’ve contributed many photographs and plant lists to the Oregon Flora Project and try to keep them updated on anything I find. Their goal of completing a new Flora of Oregon is really important to me, so I was thrilled to help create the recently published Volume 1: Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Monocots as the designer and layout artist. I also had a hand in editing and contributed several drawings and a number of photographs. I am looking forward to working on the final two volumes (dicots) over the next few years.


People always ask about photography equipment. I currently use a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 I bought for about $800. It’s been out for a couple of years, and all my photos from 2015 on are taken with it. It takes 20MP photos and has a number of nice bells and whistles including true image stabilization, true manual focus, a 16X optical zoom (28–420mm equivalent), and a fully articulated LCD (a must for photos over cliff edges!). You can judge the quality of the photos for yourself. Alas it doesn’t have the manual zoom ring (so the zoom doesn’t reset itself when the camera powers down) that my beloved Panasonic Lumix FZ50 had (most of photos up through 2014), but no camera is perfect. I haven’t upgraded to a digital SLR because I can’t bear the thought of changing lenses all the time like I did back in the “old days” (pre-digital). My only attachment is a Panasonic closeup lens I screw on when I want to take close ups or get closer to butterflies while using the full zoom. I’ve never gotten the hang of a tripod and have too much to carry around as it is. For more about the FZ1000camera, click here. For more about the FZ50camera, click here. And yes, I do use Adobe Photoshop, mainly to adjust contrast and add some sharpening. Every photo gets tweaked a little. It’s not cheating!


If you’d like to talk about plants or photography or whatever, you can get in touch with me at info[at] westerncascades[dot]com.

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