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Issue 32

September 2023


Greetings Enchanted Nature Community

Please enjoy our latest  issue of The Enchanted Nature Newsletter

Life and Cycles


This was an interesting month. We had a death and a child born in the family within about a week of each other. Death and birth can cause a wide range of emotions when it happens with someone we love. It's an easy cycle to accept until it means emotional loss. Life and death are inseparable companions and the cycle is inexorable. 


To paraphrase wise people that have preceded me, we must cherish the moments we have, nurture the world around us, and find solace in the beautiful symphony of life and death that shapes our existence. 

If you're craving some nature or know somebody that is, come and be enchanted by nature with us:

From Our Readers

Thank you for your photographic contributions to The Enchanted Nature Newsletter.

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


Ella Roach shared a picture of a Cauliflower Mushroom (Sparassis crispa)

Nice find Ella! Hope that you enjoyed the culinary qualities of this highly sought after edible.

Thanks for sharing with the community Ella!


Eileen Feim shared the above picture of Witch's Butter (Tremella mesenterica)

Below, we have some beautifully colored False Turkey Tails (Stereum ostrea)


Thank you for sharing your colorful photos with the community Eileen and thank you for going out of your way to bring us these mushrooms for a positive identification.

Please send us your pics and queries: 

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

From Our Writers

Stick bugs, also known as walking sticks or phasmids, are fascinating insects that have evolved to resemble twigs or branches, making them masters of camouflage. These remarkable creatures are found in various parts of the world and come in a range of sizes, from a few inches to over a foot long. Their slender bodies and slow, deliberate movements help them blend seamlessly into their natural habitats, making them elusive to predators.


Stick bugs are herbivores, primarily feeding on leaves. Their mimicry of plant material make them a captivating subject of study in the world of entomology.


The beautiful beetle below is an Eastern Hercules Beetle, Dynastes tityus. It is native to the eastern United States and known for its impressive size. This species is one of the largest beetles in North America, with males often growing up to two to three inches in length. Despite their imposing appearance, Eastern Hercules Beetles are generally harmless herbivores, feeding on decaying wood and tree sap. Their distinctive appearance and substantial size make them a fascinating and charismatic insect species that captures the imagination of nature enthusiasts and entomologists alike.


Here are some Inky Cap Mushrooms that we spotted in Richmond, VA.

Inky cap mushrooms, scientifically known as Coprinopsis atramentaria, are intriguing fungi known for their ephemeral growth pattern. These mushrooms begin as small, egg-shaped structures before rapidly maturing into slender, elongated caps covered in delicate gills. However, their fleeting beauty is short-lived, as they liquefy into an inky black substance within hours of reaching maturity, a process known as deliquescence.

Inky Cap.jpg

Finally, we are pleased to warmly welcome the newest member of the

Enchanted Nature Community...Our incredible grandson: Theodore.

We love you and may you spend a lifetime being enchanted by the magic of nature.


Celebrate Fungi!

By: Victoria Vacher

Everyone knows that there is a National day and month for EVERYTHING! September, however, is very special to us being Mycologists…


September is National Mushroom Month! It was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to highlight the benefits of mushrooms and fungi to the earth and to the palate!












September may be national mushroom month but this year was very disappointing until the end of the month, when all of a sudden we find ourselves in MUSHROOM HEAVEN!!!  Coming out of a terrible drought in our area it is as if when the rains came the entire earth sprang back to life! Fungus lying dormant just waiting for the right conditions to fruit were awakened as if by magic - overnight we have Turkey Tails, Inky Caps and a plethora of assorted mushrooms growing everywhere. Following a very unsatisfactory mushroom hunting summer, we now are welcoming an outburst of development! Now it is  a very exciting time for those of us super involved in mushrooms. For those of you that don't know,  mushrooms are the fleshy fruiting bodies/reproductive part of the mycelium just as apples are the fruit of the apple tree.
















If you missed the fact that September was National Mushroom month you can still participate in

National Mushroom Day on October 15!

To help you celebrate National Mushroom Day, here is a simple recipe from our favorite French chef Jacques Pepin for mushrooms in cream sauce:




Interest in mushrooms has steadily grown in the U.S. and more people than ever are recognizing their value in remediation of environmental damage, their medicinal value, culinary uses and so much more! A fun, family activity is foraging and it's FREE. That being said, check the rules for legal areas to forage and most importantly…



If you would like to learn more about this intriguing and exciting past time, Enchanted Nature teaches classes. We welcome and encourage you to join us for a fun and informative one-day class that ends with a cooking demonstration and tasting. 


*Enchanted Nature News*

Enchanted Nature Tours will be 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.















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

If you have any nature, gardening, or horticultural questions or comments, feel free to send them to


If you're interested in Mushrooms, check out the weekly posting at:

Our next mushroom class is Sunday, October 22. If you're interested in attending,
Click Here

Seeing Beauty

This month's theme is "seeing beauty". It takes practice and patience but if we work at it, we can find beauty all around us in nature, in people and in places that you might never expect to find it. Let out a sigh, sit back, and relax. Do you find beauty in the video?


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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