THE ENCHANTED NATURE NEWSLETTER
Greetings Enchanted Nature Community
Please enjoy our latest issue of The Enchanted Nature Newsletter.
We hope that you are enjoying your holiday season filled with excellent health, joy, and time spent with those you love.
“You think winter will never end, and then, when you don't expect it, when you have almost forgotten it, warmth comes and a different light. Under the bare trees the wildflowers bloom so thick you can't walk without stepping on them. The pastures turn green and the leaves come." - Wendell Berry
Nature, like life, can be pleasant sometimes and incredibly uncomfortable at others. Both nature and life can be bitter or sweet. As inhabitants of this planet, we are not separate from nature but rather an integral part of its intricate tapestry. Both the (what we call) "good" and the "bad" are necessary elements. Out of death grows life.
Darkness and light have their own essential cycles.
From the air we breathe to the water we drink, every aspect of our existence is intertwined with the ecosystems that surround us. Our actions have a ripple effect on the delicate balance of the environment, influencing the well-being of all of Earth's living beings. Understanding our place in nature means recognizing our role as caretakers; responsible for nurturing and preserving the richness of biodiversity, respecting the rhythms of the natural world, and fostering a harmonious coexistence that honors and sustains the beauty and vitality of our planet.
While it would be extraordinarily easy to just give up and become apathetic when we hear the news of multiple wars and what seems like an unsurmountable challenge with the state of the planet,
we must all maintain the resolve it takes to:
REMAIN FILLED WITH GRATITUDE
AS WE MOVE FORWARD INTO 2024
If you're craving some nature or know somebody that is, come and be enchanted by nature with us:
From Our Readers
Thank you to our contributors!
You make The Enchanted Nature Newsletter more interesting for the community.
If any of you see anything enchanting in nature, take a picture and please send it along.
Eileen Feim shared some great photos this month. After zooming in on the photo above, these mushrooms appear to be False Turkey Tails, Stereum ostrea. Like true Turkey Tail mushrooms, they can vary in their coloring and appearance. The reproductive surface (underside) is always the giveaway. True Turkey Tails would be a creamy white color.
Somebody stashed a little snack for later. I hope that it's still there when they return.
This fungal fruit is called Witch's Butter/Tremella mesenterica
While it is found growing on wood, it is not saprotrophic (wood decaying). This pretty little mushroom is the fruit of a parasitic fungi. It survives by feeding on other wood decaying fungi in the Peniophora genus. I recently wrote an article about it on the Friends of Fungus-Fungus Among Us-page.
This is a PERFECT EXAMPLE of why getting into nature during the winter is worth it!
We are not distracted by spring wildflowers, summer mushrooms, or autumn foliage.
We focus on the amazing life forms that often go unnoticed.
This broken piece of rotting wood is hosting an AMAZING ARRAY of mosses and lichens!
One could spend hours looking at this with a hand lens and be astounded.
The little red growths are commonly called British Soldiers. They are the reproductive
organs of the mycobiont component of the lichen. They are most likely sprouting from
a lichen known as Cladonia cristatella.
GREAT PHOTOS Eileen! Thanks for sharing them with the Enchanted Nature community.
Gary and Elene Paul shared some dramatic photos this month. Above we have the moon setting behind the silhouette of mountains. Below we have an absolutely stunning photo of Elliot Knob in winter.
It is located in Virginia in the Allegheny range and stands at 4,463 feet asl.
There's nothing like a picture of spring wildflowers to lift the spirits on a cold, damp winter day.
Below we see the white variety of Dame's Rocket/Hesperis matronalis.
Many thanks for contributing to the Enchanted Nature community Elene & Gary!
Please send us your pics and queries:
You can also text your pics & questions to (540) 324-8778.
From The Writers
Enchanted Nature enjoyed attending the Wintertide Farmartisan Market organized by Wendy Gray.
Mr. Mushroom made an appearance...
A local strain of Oyster Mushroom/Pleurotus ostreatus that we
collected and cultured last winter successfully fruited a big
beautiful rosette of mushrooms outdoors recently.
The Good News
By: Victoria Vacher
We want to wish all of the Enchanted Nature community a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2024!!!
Like you, we at Enchanted Nature work to be eternal optimists and are constantly on the search for encouraging and beneficial developments in the world. One such find was most encouraging.
It isn’t often that environmental terms become buzzwords, but recently
the phrase ‘Nature Positive’ is showing up everywhere!
So much so, that the Australian government will host the first ‘Nature Positive Summit’ in October 2024.
According to Reuters, “After years of equivocation, world leaders came together last December to adopt a new Global Biodiversity Framework that committed the world to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.”
Let us have faith that this endeavor will be more successful than it’s predecessors!
Reports of abuses to the ‘carbon neutral’ and 'net zero’ initiatives abound!
Certain corporations have manipulated these programs to get away with
flawed accounting and overall failure in emissions reduction.
May this initiative be successful!!!
Briefly, here are some highlights from other positive developments of 2023:
Scientists have developed the whitest paint color ever created! It reflects 98.1% of sunlight and actually cools reflective surfaces. This has the potential to help offset the urban heat island effects by painting roofs and buildings this reflective white color.
Slowly but surely and in spite of the plastic industry lobbyists, many states have banned disposable plastic bags. To date, ten states and 5 territories have complete bans on the use of disposable plastic bags. Many other states and localities are in the process of enacting ordinances by either imposing a fee or banning them outright.
France, leading the way, has officially started its ban on single use plastic, prohibiting the single- use of plastic boxes and cutlery. This follows last years ban prohibiting plastic packaging for 30 types of fruits and vegetables.
Around the globe plastic manufacturers are being sued for polluting. Lawsuits are surging and this last year has seen a snowballing of court rulings in favor of environmentalists.
The U.S. green energy transition has received the $369 Bn from the Inflation Reduction Act to promote actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support clean energy, and encourage electrification.
In 2023 energy from wind and solar grew faster than the world's power demand. Emissions from the power sector were predicted to edge downwards for the first time ever! This is a crutial tipping point for climate change.
The largest dam in America was demolished in November allowing for the free flowing river to restore and heal the ecosystem. The removal of the Klamath dam is the first of three to be removed in the largest dam removal project in American history.
After decades of negotiations, countries have agreed to a treaty to protect the world’s oceans. The High Seas Treaty provides a framework to set up marine protected areas.
The EU has promised to become forest friendly. It is stopping imports of commodities linked to deforestation. Importers of products such as soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa, coffee and rubber must be able to prove that they do not come from recently deforested land or have not contributed to forest degradation.
Deforestation in the Amazon has dropped sharply after Brazil’s government pledged to stop deforestation by 2030. Steps were taken to monitor the forest for criminal activity such as illegal logging bringing about the decrease in deforestation.
The final agreement at the COP28, agreed to by almost 200 countries, for the first time included a goal to move away from fossil fuels.
There are many more good news items from 2023 but the space here is limited.
The point is...for the first time ever it seems as though the climate issue and nature are being given their due recognition.
May it be on time so that future generations need not suffer the consequences of greed over that of a healthy planet!
Having given up making new year’s resolutions long ago, this year we have decided to make one:
We are determined to focus on the positive changes that are taking place for the planet and
assist those changes in any way we can find to do so.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Enchanted Nature News
We are updating our website. Our home page design has been edited to reflect all of our other services and products. We also have another URL that will lead visitors to our site. You can reach us at www.EnchantedNature.org
Enchanted Nature is updating and constructing our store.
Soon, we will be offering medicinal mushroom extracts.
We are in the last phases of regulatory compliance
with state and federal agencies. While no products are currently available,
feel free to take a peak around our new store (The Trading Post).
Enchanted Nature Tours is being 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.
If you have any nature, gardening, or horticultural questions or comments, feel free to send them to email@example.com
You can also find Enchanted Nature and much more at
3816 Churchville Avenue
Churchville, VA 24421
At The Necessary Mercantile, you'll find Friends of Fungus.
Be sure to check out the website's Fungus Among Us page.
It's loaded with mushroom information.
We are often asked what there is to see in the forest during the winter.
Here is a short taste of the beauty that is waiting to enchant you.
Relax and Enjoy...
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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