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Issue 15

March 2022

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Welcome To The Enchanted Nature Newsletter

Springing In The Rain (and snow)

Here in the Shenandoah Valley domesticated and wild flowers are popping up as spring unfolds. Forsythia and Daffodils are putting on a brilliant show of yellow, while Coltsfoot, Bloodroot, and many others are dressing up the forest. The weather has had some absolutely beautiful temperatures mixed in with snow and temps as low as 10ºf. 

To all of our Enchanted Nature readers, please be safe out there. Warm afternoons can turn into hypothermic conditions very quickly and sometimes unexpectedly.

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.


Pam Gibson of Virginia shared this picture of Turkey Tails (Trametes versicolor) growing on an old Lilac shrub.

We  hope to see more of your mycological discoveries.

Thank you for sharing the neat pic Pam.

Turkey Tails on Lilac

Joseph Andrews of California sent us a fun picture that he took in Woodley Park in Van Nuys near the Sepulveda Dam. Seeing how the mushroom broke through soil and the soil still on top of the cap/pileus is beautiful. Thanks for the pic Joseph!

Trying to identify the mushroom without being able to see the fertile surface and study it up close makes it hard to identify. 

If any of you have a guess, let us know.

Mushroom, Sepulvida Dam, California

Tammy Miller of Virginia sent us these wonderful pictures of Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum). 

This is a beautiful native wildflower. 

Not only is the flower lovely but the striking color pattern of the foliage is absolutely beautiful.

Trout Lily, Erythronium americanum

Tammy also shared photos of a patch of Scilla flowers sometimes called Spring Stars.

Scilla, Blue Squill, Blue Scilla

THANK YOU for sharing your photography skills with us Tammy!

Aimé Vacher of Massachusetts submitted this pic of Crocus flowers carpeting the ground. 

Aimé said that it went from snow on the ground the day before to spring flowers the next day. 

Thank you for the pretty pic.

We want to thank all of our readers again for sharing their photos!

Please continue sending us your pics and queries:   

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

Pics from the Writers

We were lucky enough to cross paths with our friend Leslie Sturges of Bat Conservation & Rescue of Virginia

We've all seen portable cat and dog kennels but have you ever seen a portable bat house? 

Looks pretty cozy huh?

Below, Leslie models one of her rescues:

Leslie Sturges, Bats

Always GREAT to see you Leslie! If any of you are interested in helping with bat rescue and conservation 

or want to learn more, click here.

While walking to the mailbox, Chris discovered some (what we believe to be) Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) growing high up in a dead hardwood tree. Rather than cut down the dead tree, he grabbed the zoom lens for some pics.

While in the forest, soaking up some spring weather, Vicki snapped some pics of Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara). 

Coltsfoot is European and was probably introduced by early colonial settlers. It is used often in herbal medicine.

Vicki also snapped a pic of these Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) flowers. 

She said they were closing up shop for the night.

 We just love these delicate perennial wildflowers.

Beekeepers can often tell what's in bloom by the color of the pollen the forager bees are carrying back to the hive.

Looking at the bright red "loaves" of pollen on the back legs of the bees, 

it's evident that Dead nettle (Lamium maculatum) is blooming.

Spring To Your Feet And Into The Forest For Wildflowers

(But Please Do It Safely)

by Victoria Vacher

Wildflower season – one of the most wonderful times of the year!

Here in the Northern Hemisphere we have just experienced the Vernal equinox. That is the moment when the Sun passes from the southern hemisphere of the celestial sphere (crosses the equator) to the northern one turning winter into spring. Down under the equator, it is just the opposite. 

This change signifies one of the most exhilarating times of the year. The ground thaws, days become longer, weather warms, animals wake up and wildflowers emerge! Although wildflowers can be found throughout the year, spring is undoubtedly the season that delivers a profusion of heartening magnificent wildflowers. Following a long, cold winter the arrival of spring plus the emergence of beautiful, delicate flowers from the seemingly dead, brown ground generates a feeling of hope and expectation like no other. 

Wildflowers are plentiful in spring due to many circumstances. Some depend on the moist conditions brought on by snowmelt. The warming of the ground triggers new growth in the perennial beauties. Many species, particularly woodland wildflowers take advantage of the abundance of light in the woods before the trees leaf out. No matter why they appear, appear they do and it is elating! From Snowdrops to Bloodroot, Trillium, Marsh Marigold, Lady Slippers, Bluebells, Spring Starflowers, May apples, Violets and so very many more the wildflowers put on a spectacular show announcing rebirth and the arrival of spring! 

Spring’s pleasant weather urges us to spend more time out of doors, which is a very good thing. However, don’t be fooled by spring when heading out for a hike, especially if you're headed out where there is no cell phone service.

We always encourage preparedness when hiking or wildflower peeping but spring can be especially tricky.

•Assess the conditions (weather and terrain) before hiking and pick an appropriate location so the hike will be safe and enjoyable. If the weather is risky, wait for a better day.

•Just because you are warm enough when you park the car doesn’t mean you will be once you begin the trail. Layer up and/or pack some extra clothes in your backpack! Wide-ranging changes in the weather are common in spring.

•Shoes play a vital role in your safety and comfort when hiking. Make certain your footwear can accommodate whatever conditions you may encounter. The absence of snow at the beginning of the trail can trick you and as you proceed into higher elevations you could run into snow and ice. 

• Thinking that you can avoid mud in spring is a fools game, not to mention possible water crossings.

•We always recommend carrying trekking poles. They can help you avoid mishaps with mud, ice and water crossings. There are numerous reasons to use trekking poles but most importantly they increase your balance and stability when navigating difficult areas.

•Daylight is still tricky in spring, so always carry a light source just in case your hike unexpectedly takes longer than you planned. No one wants to or should be hiking in darkness without a flashlight or headlamp. 

For more tips about staying safe on your adventures, you can download our free booklet: A Beginner’s Guide To Becoming A Naturalist

Enchanted Nature News

Enchanted Nature Tours inc. would like to thank all of you that participated in our

Introduction to Mycology and Wild Mushroom Foraging Class. We truly hope

that you found it informative and enjoyable. For those of you interested in our next class, which has not been scheduled yet, contact us.

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.

Floating Above It All

is this month's video theme

It is a warm spring day and you are away from all the noise and stress in the forest. 

You won't hear traffic or a phone ring. Just the breeze, birds singing, and sounds of the forest.

Not even gravity can hold you down for this brief moment.

Breathe deep and just float above it all for a couple of minutes. You deserve it!



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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