top of page


Issue 8

August 2021

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Welcome To The Enchanted Nature Newsletter

It's Not Over Yet

As we head into Labor Day Weekend, many will mark this as the "end of summer". Some folks are looking forward to the end of the high temperatures and humidity, while others are mourning the seasonal change. 

Summer lovers rejoice! Summer isn't actually over until September 22, 2021. This is the date of the Autumnal Equinox when the sun passes over the equator. 

For those of you that are true summer lovers, you might consider heading south for the season because as we begin our "fall" season, our neighbors in the southern hemisphere are just beginning their spring. 

Many of us will certainly be enjoying/suffering high temperatures and humidity beyond September 22nd. 

From Our Readers

We have received some wonderful pictures from our readers. Thank you all and PLEASE continue to send your photos and questions to ADVENTURES@ENCHANTEDNATURETOURS.COM

Kathy Kelly from Massachusetts provided and identified some stunning photos of mushrooms she observed while hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Giant Puffball, Calvatia gigantica

This lovely mushroom is Hydnellum peckii. Some of the common names for it are strawberries and cream, bleeding tooth, devil's tooth, and bleeding Hydnellum. One interesting characteristic of this mushroom is that it is growing "around" that leaf. If it continues to grow, it will completely engulf the tip of that leaf. Many mushrooms do not have that ability.

Kathy identified this fungi as a Red Belted Polypore (Fomitopsis pinicola).

Thank you for the pictures Kathy! We truly hope to meet you for a hike in the White Mountains some day soon.

Sarah Vacher of Virginia sent us these lovely photos of Golden Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus citrinopileatus) that she found in Richmond, Virginia.

Thank you for the pictures Sarah.

Very nice photography!

Paul Miller of Virginia submitted this picture of some Oyster Mushrooms that he discovered in Churchville, Virginia.

Happy Birthday and thank you for the pic Paul.

Please continue sending us your pics and queries:   

You can also text your pics & questions to (540) 324-8778.

Pics from the Writers

A fellow mushroom forager shared a haul of Chicken of the Woods mushrooms (Laetiporus sulphureus) with our friends that own the 

Mtn. Mystic Gallery & Café. They in turn, shared with us. 

Generosity and sharing can be delicious virtues! 

Thank you Jeanne and Dane!

Chicken of the Woods is a choice, edible wild mushroom. We decided to use the mushrooms in some cream of mushroom soup.

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Makes about 3 servings or 2 for a dinner sized bowl


  • About 1/2 pound of mushrooms (Wild or Cultivated)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 stick of butter (if you're vegan...use vegan butter)
  • 3 cups of chicken broth (vegans use mushroom broth or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup of milk (vegans use coconut milk or nut milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons of flour
  • Salt, pepper, a pinch of thyme, and fresh parsley (or any fresh green) for garnish

* Cut your mushrooms. Chicken of the Woods should be cut into 1/2 inch strips.

* Dice the onion.

* Mince the garlic.

* Peel the carrot and cut into 1/4 inch pieces

* Cut the celery into 1/4 inch pieces

* Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

* Melt 3/4 of the stick of butter in a soup pan

* Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Chicken of the Woods may require longer, as they are dense mushrooms.

* Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery

* Stir the mix to prevent burning

* Cook until the carrots begin to soften and add the potatoes

* Stir in the flour

* Add the broth, bring to a simmer and let it all cook for about 15 minutes while stirring

* Add the last 1/4 stick of butter, a pinch of thyme, and the milk

* Stir until it's a nice creamy consistency

* Salt and pepper to taste

* Serve in your favorite soup bowl and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley

We want to remind you...NEVER eat a wild mushroom unless you are 100% sure that it won't make you sick. Always  thoroughly cook your mushrooms, including the ones that your purchase at the supermarket. 

Just this morning, on an early hike, we discovered these beautiful Coral Mushrooms that made a tasty breakfast treat!

By: Victoria Vacher

In the midst of all the difficulties that 2020 had to offer, there were many encouraging stories that emerged as well. 

Eternal optimist that I am, it seems only right to focus on the positive environmental developments and trends that emerged and continue to emerge.

In no particular order and in short synopsis form-some good things from 2020/21…

· Of great importance to us, the problematic Atlantic Coast Pipeline was canceled. Other detrimental fossil fuel projects have been ended as well.

· Nearly 48 species of animals, birds, reptiles, etc. were rescued from the brink of extinction.

· The pandemic has awakened worldwide awareness of ‘One Health’ connecting environmental destruction to human/wildlife health.

· Interest is up for renewable energy and down for fossil fuels.

· America gained a new national park in West Virginia. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

· Around the world Nepal, Myanmar, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast, etc. new conservation areas were created and financed.

· Congress passed the ‘Great American Outdoors Act’. Dedicating funding to national parks and providing permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

· Countries all around the world made important net-zero climate pledges: including China’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2060.

· Environmental rollbacks that would negatively have impacted the environment have been reversed.

· Many more advances in equality, medicine, plastic remediation and so much more are also underway.

I want to believe human awareness of the nature connection is improving and will soon be standard operating procedures!


*Enchanted Nature News*

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

We have added a new web page called, "Our Local Friends". These are small local businesses that we support and feel confident recommending. Keep an eye on the page, as we expect the list to grow.

A Walk In The Rain!

is this month's video theme

    Take a hike in the rain and enjoy a few moments of peace. If you feel like you're too busy to watch some rain...You need to stop and relax. You deserve it!

If you haven't finished watching the video and relaxing for a few minutes...back up and relax a minute.

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.

If you're ready to explore the forest,

come out for an adventure with us 


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

If you wish to unsubscribe, simply drop us an email at 

with the word, "unsubscribe"

bottom of page