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Winter Wonderland !!

The beginning of Winter is just a few days away and I’m excited about the outdoor opportunities it offers. The Moon is waning at the moment as we move toward the beginning of Winter this Sunday, the 21st. After a beautiful Fall I welcome the changing weather. With the leaves off the trees, it’s a great time to explore your favorite patch of woods. Animal sign is easy to interpret, as their trails and runs are very visible this time of year. It’s truly a great opportunity to learn about your woodland neighbors.

Much of the East coast experienced a poor crop of Acorns this year. I could hardly find any in my woods and I’m sure our local squirrel and deer population have been affected by the lack of food. I read recently that some scientists fear the shortage may affect squirrel and deer populations as a result. Indeed, I have noticed that the population of squirrels on my property seems to be less now than last year, and I’ve seen a few that were uncommonly small. Since acorn production runs in cycles though, it’s not that uncommon to have lean year after a year of abundance. Perhaps next year will balance things out. We did however experience a good year for Black Walnut and Hickory nuts. Both are absolutely delicious, though it is a bit tedious to extract the nutmeats. I find it well worth my effort .

Numerous species of migrating birds have been… Read the rest of this entry »

Spring officially sprung a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier. After an uneventful and relatively mild Winter, I welcome the return of our vast array of plants and wildlife; of course the warm weather doesn’t hurt either. Over the past few weeks we’ve been serenaded by Spring peepers and countless songbirds. Butterflies have started to emerge and are feeding on the numerous flowering plants and trees…but this is just the beginning of things to come.

Tiger Swallowtail

Tiger Swallowtail

I’m always amazed and inspired by the change of the seasons, but Spring holds a special place in my Heart. Spring is a time of renewal and indescribable beauty. As the plants grow they provide a vast array of colors and food, not just for the local wildlife, but for us as well. In fact, some of our best wild edible greens are available right now!

This past week, I’ve been dining on dandelion, chickweed and violet leaves and flowers. They make a wonderfully nutritious addition to salads or can stand on their own. Other available favorites include… Read the rest of this entry »

DID YOU KNOW?

Autumn Olive (elaegnus umbellata) berries contain up to 17 times more lycopene than tomatoes? Lycopene has powerful antioxidant properties. These wild berries make an excellent jelly and are available right now!!

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