In praise of contributors, including you

For our story about one of the world’s most beguiling plants, we turned to Lynda Richardson, a wildlife and environment photographer in Richmond, Virginia, who has worked for us in Cuba, Alabama and California’s Channel Islands. “They were amazingly hidden,” she says of the Venus flytraps she tracked down in their only native habitat, a shrinking slice of the Carolinas. “They’re hard to see unless you know where to look.”

Fortunately Richardson had an expert guide, James Luken, a botanist. See what they found in “The Venus Flytrap’s Lethal Allure” and online at, where even more of Richardson’s hard-won pictures of the botanical novelty are posted.

Our Web site is also where you’ll find another key contributor—you. Your online submissions include tens of thousands of entries to our annual photo contests and thousands of comments on articles, videos and photo galleries. Then there’s our 100 percent reader-created Web feature, “Your Kind of Town,” a companion to the print magazine’s popular “My Kind of Town.”

So far, you’ve provided more than 150 “Town” sketches, evoking places from Brunswick, Maine, to Bisbee, Arizona. Taken together, these miniature essays are an impressive mosaic of American life, a tribute to the everyday charms of where you grew up or live now—the barbecues and nature preserves, Main Streets, beaches, libraries, pageants and bike paths. Please keep the hometown stories coming at You can upload photographs and video, too.

In recognition of our growing online community, each month some of your contributions to our Web site, including a “Town” excerpt, appear in our novel print feature “Your”

The third Smithsonian Collector’s Edition, Great Destinations, is available, but only at newsstands and bookstores or by going to or calling (212) 916-1300. Like the previous collectibles, Lincoln and Mysteries of the Ancient World, the Great Destinations special focuses on one of our core subjects. It’s about traveling to places known for history (Angkor Wat), natural beauty (Great Sand Dunes National Park) or—just in time for the Olympics—fun (Vancouver).

Terence Monmaney is the executive editor.

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