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Issue 31

August 2023


Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Please enjoy our latest  issue of The Enchanted Nature Newsletter



I read an interesting study that took place in 2020. Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces/natural environments were more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don't. The two hours can be spent in one visit or spaced out over a few visits but two hours was the magic number. People that didn't meet the two hour threshold showed no benefits.

The study was comprehensive. It included participants from different occupations, ethnic groups, ages, people from both rich and poor areas, and people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

“It’s well-known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and well-being, but until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough,” White said. “Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.”

The study by White and his colleagues is an expanding area of research that finds nature has robust effects on people’s health — physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The studies “point in one direction: Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive function.”
Please be sure to get your weekly dose of nature. Take some pics and share them with your fellow Enchanted Nature community members.

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 photographic contributions to The Enchanted Nature Newsletter.

If you see anything of interest in nature, take a picture and please send it along.

Chant cin.jpg

Eileen Feim shared some nice photos this month. Above we see a patch of Cantharellus cinnabarinus or Cinnabar Chanterelles. Not only are these mushrooms beautiful, they are deeelicious!


Ooh La La...Here are a pair of Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) acting rather amorously. Eastern Box Turtles eat a variety of plants, mushrooms, fruits, insects, fish, small amphibians, eggs and even animal carrion. Younger box turtles grow very rapidly and tend to be preferentially carnivorous. Therefore, they spend more time in the water where it is easier to hunt.  After five to six years, they move onto the land and shift to a more herbivorous diet.

Thank you for sharing your fantastic finds with the community Eileen!

Ella Roach sent a beautifully composed photo of some Chicken of the Woods mushrooms. They are past their prime for eating but still a nice find. The wet foliage surrounding the moss covered log created a stunningly gorgeous green scene. Without saprophytic fungi to break down dead debris, nutrients would remain locked up in this dead log.


Thank you for the pic Ella! 

Alice Talmadge submitted this photo of Jack O'lantern (Omphalotus illudens) Mushrooms. While these mushrooms should not be eaten, they are amazing fungal fruits. Jack O'Lanterns glow in the dark using the same chemical as lightning bugs; Luciferase. 


Thank you for sharing Alice.

Martha Hills and Don Depoy of the traditional music duo Me & Martha sent some pics from their east coast music tour. Below we see Fomes fomentarius commonly known as Tinder Conk or the Ice Man Fungus.


Thank you both for the pics! Glad to hear that your performances were a hit and that everyone enjoyed your musical talents.

Please send us your pics and queries: 

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

Pics from the Writers: 


Many of you know that we are fungal fanatics. We study mushrooms, forage wild mushrooms, teach classes about hunting mushrooms, eat mushrooms and grow them too. Above is a trophy sized Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceous) mushroom that we grew.

Lion's Mane Mushroom

By: Christopher Vacher

Lion's Mane mushrooms, taxonomically known as Hericium erinaceus, are getting appreciable attention for their medicinal qualities. These fungi offer a wide range of potential health benefits.

Locked up the this fungal fruit are bioactive chemicals known as hericenones and erinacines. They have demonstrated a fascinating ability to influence nerve growth factor (NGF) production in the body. NGF is a protein that plays a crucial role in the development, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells, making it vital for overall neurological health. Studies suggest that hericenones and erinacines found in Lion's Mane mushrooms can stimulate NGF synthesis.

These compounds are believed to work by promoting the expression of genes that are responsible for NGF production, thus potentially leading to an increase in the levels of this important protein.


This ability of Lion's Mane mushrooms' constituents to enhance NGF levels could have far-reaching implications for supporting cognitive function, nerve regeneration, and potentially even aiding in the management of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. By promoting NGF production, Lion's Mane could potentially enhance brain health, improve memory, and aid in preventing cognitive decline.


While you can enjoy some of the medicinal effects of Lion's Mane mushrooms by eating them (they are delicious and so versatile), the most potent way to harness their power is by taking a dual extraction supplement.

The cell walls in mushrooms are made of chitin. This is the same material that lobster shells are made of. Dual extractions use alcohol and water to free the beneficial components from the mushrooms.


There are many other health benefits offered by extracts of Hericium erinaceous as well


If you're interested in reading studies

about Lion's Mane, click below:

*Enchanted Nature News*

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


If you're interested in Mushrooms, check out the weekly posting at:

Our next mushroom class is Sunday, October 22. If you're interested in attending,
Click Here

Circular Transition

is this month's video theme

Every day has a sunrise and a sunset yet no two days have ever been nor will ever be exactly the same. Seek out and savor the infinite changes that happen each day. Join us on top of Shenandoah Mountain to enjoy the transition of day to night.


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


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