THE ENCHANTED NATURE NEWSLETTER
April - June 2023
Greetings Enchanted Nature Community
Please enjoy our latest issue of The Enchanted Nature Newsletter
Busy in Springtime
Spring's beauty with blooming trees, shrubs and herbs can be overwhelming. All of the work that comes with spring can be overwhelming too. It's a double-edged sword. With the more pleasant temperatures, plants are growing and creating more food for animals. Animals are migrating, mating, nesting and some are waking from a long winter nap.
Humans on the other hand are catching up on all of the backbreaking outdoor jobs that didn't get completed before winter, trying to keep up with growing grass, weeds and preparing gardens for food and flowers.
We began writing this newsletter in April and here we are in June. A concurrence of events including technical difficulties with our web builder prevented us from completing it until now.
It can be hard for many of us to slow down enough to appreciate the moment but it is essential.
Try to spend some relaxing time in nature. You will be healthier and more productive for doing so.
If you're craving some nature or know somebody that is, come and be enchanted by nature with us:
From Our Readers
Thank you for your contributions to The Enchanted Nature Newsletter.
If you see anything of interest in nature, take a picture and please send it along.
Jim and Bill Tait from Churchville, VA attended our Enchanted Nature Mushroom Class and then had a stroke of luck afterwards. Nice find guys! The Morel mushroom is one of the most sought after fungi due to its amazing culinary quality.
Paul Miller of Churchville, VA also had luck in finding a Morel mushroom. He also sent a picture of a Pheasant Back mushroom (also called Dryad's Saddle).
Thank you for the pics Paul!
Please continue sending us your pics and queries:
You can also text your pics & questions to (540) 324-8778.
Pics from the Writers:
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) at DuPont Recreational State Forest in Hendersonville, NC.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is one of the earliest perennial wildflowers to bloom in the Shenandoah Valley. The common name, Bloodroot comes from the red colored flesh and exudate that is exposed when one cuts the root. This has been used to make dyes and for it's medicinal qualities.
This is a super-cool mushroom hangout hut. It is just one of the many amazing things that we saw when we visited
in Mills River, NC.
Greg Carter is a mushroom farmer, educator, artist and an evangelist for all things fungal. If you're ever in the area, this is an attraction worth a visit.
If you look closely, you will see that the mushroom is growing out of an ant. The fungus is called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis. We observed it when we visited Mushroom Mountain in Easley, SC.
Thank you to Olga and Billiejana for a great time.
This handsome rascal was
at a farm we visited in Fairview, NC called Myco Rhizing. Natalie, Grant and their daughter Rosa Lee (all artists in different media) graciously showed us around their farm. They raise mushrooms, poultry, goats, medicinal plants, honeybees and more. Biodiverse is an understatement. Thank you all again for showing us your fantastic farm.
Spring and Forests:
Two Reasons to Celebrate
By: Victoria and Christopher Vacher
While many people consider Memorial Day the kickoff to summer, the solstice and true beginning of summer will be on June 21, at 10:57am. This is when the Earth's tilt toward the sun will be at its maximum. As we say adieu to springtime, let's start summer by appreciating all of the benefits that forests provide.
Forests purify the water, clean the air, capture carbon (one tree can sequester 48 pounds of carbon yearly), provide food and medicines, and are vital to our existence and our overall wellbeing.
With this knowledge, hopefully, the desire of society to protect the forests will increase. Despite the importance of their ecological, social, economic and health benefits, forests are still endangered by droughts, fires, pests and unprecedented deforestation! Sustainable forest management and the use of their resources is key to combating climate change.
There are many things we humans disagree about, but the need to protect our forests and plant more trees should be a topic we can all agree upon. It is up to us to safeguard these precious treasures
Interesting facts about forests:
Are home to over 80% of land animals and plants
Cover 31% of the world’s land area
Provide subsistence and livelihood for approximately 1.6 billion people (about 20% of the world population).
Store approximately 296 gigatons of carbon in above and below ground biomass
In the United States there are 154 protected areas known as national forests
There are 3 general types of forests: temperate (most common), tropical and boreal
Only 7 rainforests exist on the planet; all of which are threatened
Rainforests are definitively the most essential for mitigating climate change
25% of the medicines we use originate in rainforests
Plants in rainforests have not been studied adequately for medicinal properties. Currently, only 1% have been investigated
Are in danger from human activity via fire, agriculture, development, logging and livestock production.
Are increasing due to a resurgence in appreciation and monitoring. This is encouraging.
*Enchanted Nature News*
You will find that website is looking a little different. We hope that you like the changes.
Enchanted Nature Tours will be seen around the world. Virginia Tourism worked with an international marketing firm to create a series of videos that will be shown in airports. The company reached out to us for an interview. Keep in mind that were no scripts, no rehearsals and we had no editorial input on the piece. We met in the forest, answered a few questions and they cobbled together the video.
Give the gift of nature! We now offer gift certificates. They can be customized and emailed for any occasion. The gift certificates are available at our Trading Post
If you have any nature, gardening, or horticultural questions or comments, feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you're interested in Mushrooms, check out the weekly posting at: https://friendsoffungus.com/the-fungus-among-us.html
We are preparing to schedule our next mushroom class. If you're interested, contact us and you will be the first to know when seats are available.
Vicki and Chris will be giving a free presentation on Mushrooms at The Churchville, VA Library on
June 27th 5:30-6:30pm
is this month's video theme
In the Serenity Prayer, one asks for the serenity to "accept the things I cannot change". There are many things in this life that are out of our control. It can be frustrating, saddening and sometimes can cause anger. We must accept some unpleasant circumstances in this world and do our best to balance this out by seeking beauty and serenity. We must also change what we can for the better. It is a difficult balance.
Findings reported in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, suggest that keeping a few snapshots of greenery around yourself might be beneficial. When participants viewed the natural images in the experiment, their stress levels lowered, thanks to the activation of their parasympathetic nervous system – which controls certain rest functions. "Viewing green scenes may thus be particularly effective in supporting relaxation and recovery after experiencing a stressful period and thereby could serve as an opportunity for micro-restorative experiences and a promising tool in preventing chronic stress and stress-related diseases." Take a deep breath, hold it, and let it out slowly as you relax.
NATURE IS CALLING, WILL YOU ANSWER
There are many proven health benefits to spending time in nature. It has also been proven that just looking at images of nature can provide multiple health benefits including: reducing depression, speeding healing, improving your immune system, preventing dementia, improving your mood, and increasing happiness. We plan on ending each newsletter with a short video of a natural scene. Hopefully the videos will provide you with some of the benefits listed above.
Stay safe and enjoy nature
If you haven't taken the time to explore our website, please do.
There are a lot of free educational resources to enjoy
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