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Issue 10

October 2021

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Welcome To The Enchanted Nature Newsletter


Happy Halloween everyone. We hope that your October has been filled with enchanting experiences in nature. 

From Our Readers

We have received some wonderful pictures from our participants and readers. Thank you all and PLEASE continue to send your photos and questions to ADVENTURES@ENCHANTEDNATURETOURS.COM

A Request To Our Readers: Please take photos of any beautiful autumn colors and send them along. You might take a few pics of the same plant to show the progress over time. MANY THANKS to everyone that contributes to the Enchanted Nature Newsletter.

Tammy from Churchville, VA sent us pictures of Oyster Mushrooms 

Giant Puffball, Calvatia gigantica

These mushrooms, Pleurotis Ostreatus, are decomposers (Saprobes). 

Not only do fungi feed us, break down dead matter into soil, and provide us with medicines, they can help to reverse some of the devastating environmental damage that humans are causing. This process is called mycoremediation. You can read more about it in Paul Stamets's book 

Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Save The World 

(Please support your local bookseller).

Thanks for the GREAT pics Tammy!

Alan Green of Colorado provided these excellent pics of a Golden Amanita Muscaria. The Amanita Muscaria is know to be a hallucinogenic mushroom but before you run out to hunt for one, realize that they are also considered toxic. The Amanita Muscaria contains Ibotenic acid, muscimol & muscarine. While these ingredients may cause delusions of great strength or psychedelic hallucinations, they will also make you extremely ill. Within 30 minutes to 2 hours, you would suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of muscular coordination, profuse sweating and chills. Not what most would consider a good time.

Amanita Muscaria,

Thank you for the pictures Alan

Very nice photography!

Please continue sending us your pics and queries:   

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

**We want to remind you...NEVER eat a wild mushroom unless you are 100% sure that it won't make you sick and you know exactly what the mushroom is. 

Always  thoroughly cook your mushrooms, including the ones that you purchase at the supermarket. 

There are two sayings that you will hear among wild mushroom hunters:

"There are old mushroom hunters and

there are bold mushroom hunters, but

there are NO old bold mushroom hunters."

Remember, every mushroom is edible...ONCE!

Pics from the Writers

Vicki captured a couple beautiful fall foliage pics while we were driving through the forest.

Enchanted Nature Tours inc. held a special enchanted nature tour for 8 nature lovers that came to Virginia from all over the country. The adventure was custom designed to meet the group's requests and it turned out to be a wonderful day.

Transportation was provided and the ride provided some wonderful autumn scenery. The day began with rain but that didn't cause any problems. We started the program with an educational presentation at the Necessary building in Churchville, VA.

There were exhibits of fungi and lichens. Guests had the opportunity to cultivate their own logs and bags with a variety of Oyster mushrooms. They also learned about and had the opportunity to make their own medicinal mushroom tincture.

The culinary alchemists of White's Wayside,

provided a mushroom themed buffet lunch.

The food was not only creative, it was AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!

Thank you again to the White's Wayside team.

We also want to express our gratitude to Mark Jones at Sharondale Mushroom Farm for generously donating Lion's Mane and Bear's Head Tooth Mushrooms for our exhibits. Thanks again to the Sharondale team.

We then set off for a forest hike on top of Shenandoah Mountain

The weather cleared and the sun peaked through to make for a very enjoyable hike. We found False Turkey Tail mushrooms, Turkey Tail mushrooms, various lichens, and learned about ecology.

Thanks to Alan Green for the pic

We observed what are most likely Lion's Mane or Bear's Head Tooth mushrooms but they were too immature to make a positive ID. Maybe we'll find out in the next issue of the Enchanted Nature Newsletter...stay tuned!

We finished out the adventure at Braley Pond with a scenic pic and observing more natural wonders.

This was a fantastic group of guys. Thank you all for choosing Enchanted Nature Tours inc.

Autumn Enchantment

by Victoria Vacher

    THE ENCHANTMENT OF AUTUMN is in large part due to the magical colors emerging on deciduous trees. As summer fades into fall, the days grow shorter producing less sunlight. This signals the tree to secrete an abscising fluid causing the production of chlorophyll to cease and the leaves to drop in preparation for winter. Once this happens, the green color (chlorophyll) begins to fade and allows the other pigments (which are always there but hidden) to show through. Thus the splendid reds, oranges and yellows become visible providing beautiful autumn foliage.


    Brilliant reds emerge when the pigment Anthocyanin is allowed to appear. The spectacular reds with sometimes a tinge of purple are striking on the earliest tree to display fall color, Black Gum Tree (Nyssa Sylvatica). Xanthophyll is the pigment responsible for the beautiful yellows of fall. Aspen trees, Birch and some oaks display brilliant yellow colors. Xanthophyll contains oxygen while carotene (responsible for the amazing orange colors) does not. The two pigments also absorb light wavelengths differently accounting for the variance in color between them. Carotenoid pigment is responsible for the stunning orange the Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum) displays.  Many trees possess several pigments and depending on which one is dominant the colors can vary.

 Beautiful fall colors evoke in humans awareness of change, relief from the heat of summer, the wonder of harvest time and the approaching slowdown that winter demands. To many it signals the coming of holidays and family time that are often accompanied by fun!

Enjoying the seasons as they change is a distinct pleasure! Happy Fall y’all!!!

Halloween Bats

is this month's video theme

In honor of Halloween and the end of Bat Week, we are going to leave you with two videos. The first video is a news piece with our friend Leslie Sturges at The Bat Conservation and Rescue of Virginia.

Leslie is a caring and knowledgeable conservationist. If you would like to learn more about how you can help bats and support the bat sanctuary, please link to:

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 

Please be sure to share this newsletter with your friends. 

Word of mouth is the best advertising.


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.

*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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with the word, "unsubscribe"

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