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Issue 20

September 2022

Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Welcome To The Enchanted Nature Newsletter

Mush To Be Celebrated!

Fungi, Fungus, Chicken of the Woods, Grifola Frondosa, Mushroom Hunting, Fungi

September was National Mushroom Month!

We hope that you enjoyed eating, observing, and appreciating some spectacular fungal fruits this month.

When the word "fungus" is mentioned, some folks envision pizza toppings while others imagine a foot condition. The kingdom of fungus is amazing, diverse, and has improved life for every single human being on the planet. In this newsletter, we are going to celebrate mushrooms. Not all fungi produce mushrooms.

We have met many people that appreciate mushrooms but admit that they just don't like to eat them. Sometimes it's the flavor and for others it's the texture. We always try to encourage them by saying, "You don't like the mushrooms that you've tasted in the way that they've been prepared". After asking what their experience is with mushrooms, the answer is usually quite minimal. The world of mushrooms is extremely diverse and the ways to prepare them is nearly infinite. 

The kingdom of fungi provides humans with bread, beer, wine, antibiotics, cheeses, and a multitude of other items that improve the human condition. This kingdom also provides MUSHROOMS!

We want to wish you all safe and enchanting adventures as we head into October.


We received some lovely photos from our readers for this month's newsletter. 

Thank you to all who sent their pics!

Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, mushroom hunting, wild mushrooms

Tammy Miller of Churchville, VA submitted these pictures of what we believe are 

oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus). Thanks for the pics Tammy!

Mushroom Hunting, wild mushrooms

Pat Spahn of Churchville, VA, caught these two wild hen turkeys strolling 

along the edge of the forest. Thank you Patty!

Bumble, bee

Phil Crilley of Mount Solon, VA submitted some excellent photos of mushrooms 

Bear's Head Tooth, Hericium americanus

We believe the photograph above is a young 

Bear's Head Tooth (Hericium americanum) mushroom. 

The picture below is a Beefsteak mushroom (Fistulina hepatica). We know this 

for sure, because Phil generously went out of his way to share some of his

mushroom haul with us.

Fistulina, hepatica, beefsteak, mushroom, virginia
Coral-Pink Merulius, Phlebia incarnata (formerly Merulius incarnatus)

At first glance, we thought that this mushroom might have been a young Chicken of the Woods. After studying it a little more, we're confident that it is a

Coral-Pink Merulius (Phlebia incarnata...formerly Merulius incarnatus)

Many thanks for all of the FANTASTIC fungal pics Phil!!!

We're glad that you're finding time to be enchanted by nature.

Honey Mushrooms, wild mushrooms, mushroom hunting

Our final pic was submitted by Don Depoy of Swoope, VA. We believe that these are Ringless Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria tabascens). Awesome pic Don!Thank you and please keep sending us your fungal finds.

MANY THANKS to all of you that make the newsletter better by sharing your pics!

Please continue sending us your pics and queries:   

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


We met some wonderful folks this month

Black Bear Trashcan

It was wonderful spending the day with you Deb (in Augusta County) and Rob (in Highland County). They are standing on either side of the county line. These enchanted nature friends were hardcore naturalists interested in all things nature. We had conversations about everything from the stars to animals in the deep ocean depths. 

We truly hope to see you again.

We volunteered at the Queen City Magic and Mischief event in nearby Staunton, VA.

Staunton is a beautiful city surrounded by beautiful farms, fields, and forests. 

We want to express our thanks to the MANY people that made this event happen. 

Special kudos go to Sarah Lynch of The Baja Bean co.

We also collaborated with Friends of Fungus at The Necessary Mercantile to do

an introduction to wild mushrooms presentation.

A Mushroom Renaissance

by Victoria Vacher

September of each year is National Mushroom Month. It seems the resurgence of mushroom interest has absolutely blossomed in the last few years here in the U.S. 

Mushrooms have landed on many prediction lists in many categories. 

The New York Times prediction was, "Ingredient of the Year for 2022", the movie Fantastic Fungi is an absolute hit, and the general public is discovering the diverse selection of mushrooms to use for culinary arts and dietary supplements.

Mushrooms are the fruit of the fungus. They are the reproductive structure much like an apple is to an apple tree.

Advances in the use of mushrooms continue to be made in many areas: 

Psilocybin mushrooms are being used for the treatment of addictions, PTSD, anxiety and many other ailments 

An FDA approved study by Bastyr University found that Turkey Tail mushrooms are effective in prevention of breast cancer recurrence.

Biodegradable mushroom fibers are now being used as a cheap, plastic/petroleum-free medium for packaging

Gourmet mushroom use is increasing. From truffle infused oils to king oyster mushrooms being used as an alternative for scallops, chefs are increasingly creating culinary delights with these fungal fruits. 

The number of small urban mushroom farms is expected to increase dramatically.

In truth, America used to be a country that widely appreciated and gathered wild mushrooms. If only I had listened and learned from my Grandfather and Great Grandmother!!! As people have become more disconnected from nature, the knowledge of wild foods has become less and less widespread.

Mushrooms have been an integral part of many diets, especially in areas lacking money to purchase cultivated foods. In the 1940’s, Americas mushroom culture shifted. Instead of actively pursuing and gathering these delicacies they became objects of fear. Everyone has heard, “Don’t touch that, it will kill you!” In fact, only about 3% of mushrooms are known to be toxic, but mushrooms are mysterious, frequently misunderstood and totally under-appreciated for their delicious and NUTRITIOUS value! Please be cautious though. Never eat a wild mushroom, berry, or plant unless you are 100% sure that it is safe.

In many countries, especially France, mushroom foraging is as much a part of the culture as wine, baguettes and Brie! The French call mushroom hunting, "La chasse aux champignons.

The French even have a song about mushroom hunting!

If you have only tried canned mushrooms or the white ubiquitous Button Mushrooms, an entire realm of gourmet tastes is available for you to investigate. Many grocery stores are now carrying a vastly improved assortment of mushrooms.

Until 1969 (when fungus received kingdom status) mushrooms were grouped in with the kingdom of plants, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. The study of mushrooms is in its infancy stages. Scientists know of over 10,000 varieties of mushrooms in North America alone and believe there are still an incredible number of varieties to be discovered. With knowledge will come the lessening of our mycophobia and the reawakening of a love and appreciation for mushrooms.

Mushrooms, as any other fruiting body have their seasons. Right now the fascinating and delicious Lion’s Mane mushroom can be found in our region for the lucky mushroom hunter. If you're interested in learning more about wild mushrooms, we will be offering a class on November 3rd, 2022. If you would like to be notified when we post the information,  contact us.

Please be safe! 

Be kind to nature and one another.

Enchanted Nature News

Enchanted Nature Tours inc. is planning our next mushroom class. We will cover wild edible identification, toxic mushroom identification, cultivation, medicinal mushrooms, and cooking. We are tentatively planning on November 3rd, 2022. If you are interested on being notified when we schedule the next class, please  contact us.

For those of you who can't get enough mushroom info, check out the weekly mushroom posting at:

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.

Look Up

is this month's video theme

Look Up

It can be difficult to keep your head up in this life. The planet suffers war, poverty, and environmental degradation. It's all caused by the hands of humanity and we feel powerless to change it. In our own lives, we suffer unexpected challenges, losses of friends and family, financial hardship, disease, crime, and a host of other fatiguing experiences. When we feel down, we tend to look down. Humans tend to follow the path that we're looking at which leads us further down. It's important to keep your chin up and look up when life is difficult. 

The first printed reference of the phrase, "Keep your chin up" comes from an October, 1900 edition of the The Evening Democrat, a Pennsylvania newspaper. “Keep your chin up. Don’t take your troubles to bed with you – hang them on a chair with your trousers or drop them in a glass of water with your teeth.” was how it read. 

It seems like good advice.



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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