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Issue 25

December 2022

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Welcome To The Enchanted Nature Newsletter

Beginning Again

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”


Good bye 2022. The winter solstice has come and gone and our daylight hours are getting longer. 

A new calendar year is beginning with resolutions, hopes and plans. 

Of course, we certainly don't have to wait for a certain date to change the direction of our life. 

The western world uses the Gregorian calendar for both civil and ecclesiastical dating. In 1582, it was instituted by Pope Gregory XIII having 365 days with an extra day every four years (the leap year) unless the year is divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400. It was quickly accepted by Catholic countries like Spain and France but was resisted by Protestant countries who still used the Julian calendar created by Julius Caesar. Most calendars are based on astronomy and our position in the universe.

Every new day, every step, every breath, every moment is a new beginning. Every decision we face is a chance to be a better person, improve our lives and to improve the lives of others. The decisions can be as simple as whether to pick up a piece of litter or walk by it. It may be a decision to end wars, to promote peace, working for the end of hunger or any effort to relieve the suffering of others. The main point is that it's YOUR decision and whether a new year, a new day, or a fleeting moment anytime is a good time to make the world a better place and to become enchanted by nature. 

We wish all of you a very happy new year!

May you have  safe and enchanting adventures as we head into January.

Plan your adventures with safety in mind. Be prepared for the unexpected.


Thank you to all who sent their pics!

Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, mushroom hunting, wild mushrooms

Paul Miller of Churchville, VA submitted this picture of what appears to be an opened Puffball mushroom (Calvatia cyathiformis).  Puffballs protect their spores inside the fruiting body and break open at the just the right time. Thank you for this interesting photo Paul! The water droplets on it make a lovely scene.

Tranella Roach submitted this picture of Lattice Puffball mushrooms fruiting. 

Nice discovery Ella! 

Thank you for sharing your pic.

Lattice Puffball, Calostoma lutescens

Pat Spahn shared this great pic of a Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana). 

Out of over 100 species, this is the only Opossum species residing north of Mexico. 

It is found throughout the United States and Canada.


MANY THANKS to all of you that make the newsletter better by sharing your pics!

Please send us your enchanting pics and any queries:   

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


Cracked Cap Polypore (Phellinus robiniae)

Cracked cap polypore, Phellinus robiniae
Woodland Cyclamen, Cyclamen Persicum

These massive tree roots protruding from a rocky ridge made for a pretty scene with moss, ferns, and lichen covered stones. The mosses and lichens are very happy with the temperatures and precipitation right now.

Sycamore tree

A very cold mountain creek on a rainy day

The Beauty of Winter

by Victoria and Christopher Vacher

Here we are at the end of another year! We would like to thank you for being part of

our enchanting adventures in nature and to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Our attention often turns to anticipating spring, but nature still has plenty to offer in the winter so be sure to venture out weather permitting and enjoy what is going on now. Vistas change when the leaves are gone allowing us to see what is blocked in the other seasons. Ice formations create beautiful glistening sculptures. As you saw in the pictures above, there are many fungal fruits in the forest. From polypores to Puffballs, mushrooms are out there. There are interesting lichens waiting to put on a show for you. 

Leaf buds are more visible and many are quite interesting giving us a preview of what is to come. More of the plants structure is exposed and is beautiful in a completely different way. Dramatic skies produce special emotions.

Walking and taking in fresh air is healing and rejuvenating. Anticipating the coming emergence of plants currently underground is exciting too. Many people view nature in winter as dead or uninteresting when it is actually resting and still teeming with enchanting beauty.

No matter what the season nature enhances our wellbeing and provides the necessities for our existence. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we live upon, the plants, fungi, animals, microscopic life forms, and people are collectively nature and humans are meant to interact with it not stay indoors breathing recycled air and never touching the earth. 

Here's a suggestion for a resolution this year...take every opportunity you can to spend time outdoors, seek beauty connect with the earth and make 2023 the year to become enchanted!

Happy New Year!!!

Please be safe! 

Be kind to nature and one another.

Enchanted Nature News

For those of you who can't get enough mushroom info, 

check out the weekly mushroom posting at:

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


You're invited to enjoy an afternoon with us and we're sure that 

"Our Local Friends" would love to meet you too. 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.


is this month's video theme


This video has a lot of different seasons and a lot of different perspectives. As we head into the new year, look up, down and all around to seek the enchanting beauty that nature provides.



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 end each newsletter with a short video of a natural scene. 

Hopefully the videos will provide you with some of the benefits listed above.

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." 

Please be sure to share this newsletter with your friends. 

Word of mouth is the best advertising.

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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