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Issue 39


June 2024

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

We hope that you're staying cool while being enchanted by nature. Enjoy our latest issue of

The Enchanted Nature Newsletter.

Summer Scorch


"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels.

The thing to do is to supply light and not heat." - Woodrow Wilson 1916


Greetings Enchanted Nature Community,

   Summer 2024 is off to scorching start. Here in Virginia, the record high temperatures have been accompanied by drought conditions. Unfortunately, this isn't just hard on the lawn (which is brown in most areas). All plants suffer. Wildlife has trouble finding water because streams and creeks are drying up. Fish in these same waterways are under extreme stress. Shenandoah National Park has announced there is no fishing allowed because waterways are at such low flow rates and water temperatures are too high. Be sure to keep yourself safe during your adventures. Watch for early signs of heat exhaustion: 

  • Heavy sweating

  • Rapid pulse

  • Nausea

  • Muscle cramps

  • Irritability 

  • Dizziness

  • Fatigue 

  • Headache

There are still enchanting things to see in nature when it's hot and dry.

Try to find a shady place to look for them. 

From Our Readers

We sincerely appreciate your contributions!

You make The Enchanted Nature Newsletter more interesting for the community.

Your photos keep the newsletter engaging and interactive. 

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

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Martha Hills of the famed music group, Me and Martha, shared this attractive

photo of what appears to be a mushroom in the Lacterius genus. 


Eileen Feim shared  these photos of a VERY out of season

Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) mushroom. 


Beth Bland spotted these Berkeley's Polypore (Bondarzewia berkeleyi) mushrooms.

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Kelly Waller shared this photo from earlier in the spring of a Morel mushroom. 

Thank you for your submissions! May the forest be with you.

Remember, if you can't get enough fungal fun,

Check out the articles at the

Friends of Fungus-Fungus Among Us-page. 

Please send us your pics and queries: 

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

From The Writers

A creek reduced to a few puddles

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Above is a crust fungus in the Trametes genus.

Mushrooms As Medicine: Oyster Mushrooms

By: Victoria and Christopher Vacher

This piece is the first in a series of articles concerning functional mushrooms. What is a "functional" mushroom you ask? It is a mushroom that has therapeutic benefits as well as nutritional benefits. You may have heard the term "medicinal mushrooms". Certain regulatory agencies don't like this term because it may lead people to treat themselves with a supplement rather than seeking the help of a licensed doctor. There is a lot of research so don't discount fungi! According to Tero Isokauppila's book Healing Mushrooms (A Practical and Culinary Guide to Using Mushrooms for Whole Body Health), about forty percent of all pharmaceuticals are derived from mushrooms and fungi.

Oyster mushrooms are the first in our series about medicinal/functional mushrooms.





Oyster mushrooms are the second most cultivated edible mushroom worldwide, second to Agaricus bisporus, the common white button mushroom. There are many species in the Pleurotus genus and they come in a variety of colors. Oyster mushrooms can be found in blue, pink, yellow, and a pallet of other colors. They are renowned, not only for their culinary appeal, but also for their impressive "therapeutic" properties. Rich in bioactive compounds such as polysaccharides, glycoproteins and triterpenoids, research suggests that oyster mushrooms have have a range of health benefits. One of the most notable properties is their immunomodulatory effect. The beta-glucans present in oyster mushrooms can enhance the activity of the immune system, boosting the body’s ability to fight infections and diseases. Additionally, these mushrooms have demonstrated significant antioxidant activity, which may help in neutralizing harmful free radicals and protect cells from oxidative stress.


Another prominent medicinal application of oyster mushrooms is their potential to support cardiovascular health. They contain lovastatin, a naturally occurring statin that can help in lowering cholesterol levels. By reducing the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ‘bad’ cholesterol and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ‘good’ cholesterol, oyster mushrooms may contribute to better heart health and a lower risk of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, the high fiber content in these mushrooms aids in improving lipid profiles and overall heart function. Studies have also suggested that regular consumption of oyster mushrooms can help in managing blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of hypertension related complications.


Oyster mushrooms also show promise in managing and preventing various metabolic disorders. Their ability to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels makes them a valuable addition to the diet of individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. The presence of bioactive compounds like ergothioneine and pleuran further enhances their therapeutic potential, providing anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. This makes oyster mushrooms a multifaceted medicinal tool, capable of addressing a wide range of health issues while promoting overall well THEY'RE DELICIOUS! For further information and research, we recommend The Fungal Pharmacy, A Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms & Lichens of North America by Robert Rogers. Here at Enchanted Nature we are excited to be the first company in Virginia approved to create mushroom extracts for retail sales. You can find them for sale on our Trading Post page.


Enchanted Nature News


There will be a one day mushroom festival happening on

Saturday, October 5, 2024 from 10am-5pm. 

You and your loved ones are warmly invited to

experience the wonders of mushrooms and community spirit at:

The Enchanted Mushroom Festival

"The Virginia Mushroom Festival".








Click the logo above for more info.

We are seeking vendors, food trucks, volunteers, donations, and entertainers.

If you are interested in being part of the festival, please contact us.


Enchanted Nature Mushroom Extracts Are Now Available.

Our extracts can be purchased at:






You can also order online through our Trading Post

It's always mushroom season:

Our next mushroom class will be held on

Sunday, August 18, 11-3 at The Necessary Mercantile.













We will be teaching a mushroom masterclass at

The Norfolk Botanical Garden

Our mushroom class will be held on

Saturday, July 27th, 9:30-1:30.

For more information click below:









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

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Keep Cool

Here is a video to cool you off on these hot summer days.


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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with the word, "unsubscribe"

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