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Issue 14

February 2022

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Welcome To The Enchanted Nature Newsletter

Scene of Green

In the East, we have been getting a few days of warmer temperatures and sunshine.

This makes us anticipate the arrival of spring all the more.

It's important to appreciate what we have right now though and

Evergreens are stealing the scene.

To all of our Enchanted Nature readers, please be safe out there. 

Remember to stop every now and again to enjoy the natural beauty around you. 

Maybe even take a photo to share with your fellow readers.

Don Depoy contributed this picture of an Amanita polypyramis (Many Warts Mushroom). 

Thank you for the great pic Don!

Giant Puffball, Calvatia gigantica

Nancy Sorrells sent us these pics of Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) emerging from the snowy ground. 

Glad that you're not letting the cold weather deter you from enjoying nature. 

Stay safe out there and thank you for the pics Nancy!

Please continue sending us your pics and queries:   

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

Pics from the Writers

This White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) was nibbling on some greens before it was rudely interrupted by the nature paparazzi.

The Green Scene

by Victoria Vacher

Evergreen is defined by Merriam-Webster as follows:

1.) : having foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season.

2.) a : retaining freshness or interest: Perennial

     b : universally and continually relevant

Definition 1. of course, refers to the plant world and definition 2. it seems to me, refers to life in general. Evergreen plants are a pleasing glimmer of hope amid the brown of deciduous trees and shrubs, the grey and gloomy skies and the white landscapes of winter.  


So, the question is, ‘why are evergreens able to keep their leaves while deciduous trees/shrubs lose theirs in the autumn?’ Due to the fact that evergreens do not become totally bare the myth is that they never lose their leaves. The truth is evergreens do lose their leaves… just not all at the same time (a bit like human hair). Evergreens keep their leaves for more that one growing season and some species for two to four seasons. Generally evergreens keep their leaves/needles for two to three years. Red needles at the tip of the stem and yellowing/browning interior leaves/needles are those preparing to drop. Every year they grow new leaves/needles and some of the old ones fall.

Though still engaging in photosynthesis, evergreens basically hibernate during the winter. They will use the leaves if necessary but they are in a greatly reduced activity state in the winter season. As I am certain you have noticed, evergreen leaves are generally thicker and harder than deciduous leaves and are often needlelike or scale like. This plus the shapes and strong waxy coating on evergreens makes them resistant to water loss, cold temperatures and keeps them from drying out in the winter. This explains why we find many more broadleaved (as opposed to needled) evergreens in warmer regions. 

In general, evergreens prefer full sun to thrive. However, there are some species that will tolerate partial sun and even some that will take shade. As a rule, if planted in the proper location, evergreens don’t require a lot of maintenance other than pruning (which is another topic, but pruning evergreens differs from deciduous upkeep. The most obvious being you can rarely prune back past the green and expect the plant to come back…) Being able to improve the landscape is a gift and using evergreens in the landscape design provides interest during the colder months.

Also, according to Merriam-Webster, the adjective evergreen, hyphenated form ever-green (which means always green) has existed in English since the 16th century. The hyphen free form is first seen in writing in the 17th century and is used as both an adjective and a noun, meaning conifer. It would be interesting to know when the term was first used to describe freshness/relevance! 

To end this commentary I looked for a short poem/prose about evergreens and while I’m certain many a famous author must have written one I couldn’t find it. So I wrote a silly one…

I love trees when they get their leaves,

I love it when they lose ‘em

But the trees that I think are very keen

Are the ones that we call evergreen!

Enchanted Nature News

Enchanted Nature Tours is offering a one-day intensive class on fungi.

We will be teaching:

  • Wild Edible Identification
  • Poisonous Mushroom Identification
  • Grow Your Own
  • Mycoremediation
  • Make Your Own Tinctures From Functional Mushrooms

To find out more and reserve your seat:

We want to express gratitude to some folks that have been very instrumental in helping Enchanted Nature Tours.

Many, many THANKS to Mary Wilson, Martha Hills, Don Depoy, and Jack Wilson!!! 

Thank you all again for your help and encouragement.

Fun in the Sun

is this month's video theme

The sun glistening on the water inspired me to take you for a hike, to play in the creeks, and to have some fun in the sun.

Breathe deeply and intentionally. Try to find some relaxation for a few moments.

Where ever you are, may only good flow from upstream into your life.



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.

*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.

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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