Wild Ozark

Growing Ginseng, Living Close to Nature, & Learning Self-Reliance in the Ozarks

Gathering Lobelia inflata Seeds

Lobelia inflata flowers in late July. Seeds begin ripening in late August/early September.

Lobelia inflata flowers in late July. Seeds begin ripening in late August/early September.

Looking for Lobelia

Today I donned a surgical mask to go out and gather the seed pods of Lobelia inflata. Why the mask?

Well, it’s the time of year when ragweed tries to assault me when I go outside. I’m hoping the mask helps alleviate tonight’s misery when the pollen launches the sneak attack. It’s a new tactic I haven’t tried yet.

I’ve tried local honey.

I would try goldenrod, which is supposed to make a good homeopathic remedy, but the goldenrod isn’t blooming here yet. This year the ragweed got a big jump on it.

What I really needed was a self-contained breathing-apparatus. Sinuses seemed to feel fine with the mask. But the eyes, oh how my eyes suffered.

Found it!

It wasn’t really going to be hard to find. I’d been noticing them since early summer, noting the locations and pleased at the greater abundance this year.

Last year I scattered seeds from a few plants I’d found on the mountain. I wanted them to grow closer to the house, and they obliged! Next year should be even better.

Lobelia inflata is one of the ingredients for a tincture I like to keep on hand. It’s a variation on the formulation from Dr. Christopher. This formula has been used in one variation or another by many herbalists through the years and it’s hard to determine who to credit with the original formula. The link above takes you to Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy website and about halfway down the page is the paragraph on the recipe.

I’m not sure who invented it first, but it works works better and faster than anything I’ve ever tried for muscle spasms (including muscle relaxers from the doctor) or stomach cramps, leg cramps, or spasmodic coughing.

I am sometimes bothered by what seems like restless leg syndrome and I want to try it the next time it happens. The last little bottle lasted for years, and now I can’t find it, so I’m making more.

Lobelia inflata plant with seed pods

Lobelia inflata plant with seed pods

I will have to buy all of the rest of the ingredients until I can grow them or find them all myself here on site. We do have black cohosh, but I want to tag it while it’s blooming so I can be certain the plant I dig isn’t doll’s eyes. The two are very similar in appearance, and although I *think* I can tell the difference now, a mistake would be deadly.

About Lobelia inflata

Lobelia inflata is an annual (some sources say biennial) herb that grows to about 1 or 2 feet high. It can be branched or grow only one stalk. Flowers bloom in late July here in the Ozarks, and they are tiny, insignificant little blossoms (see photos above). The resulting seed pods end up larger than the flowers, and are the characteristic identifying feature.

I’ve never found this species of lobelia growing near water, although L. spicata (Great Blue) and L. cardinalis (Red Lobelia) are commonly found near creek edges. L. inflata seems to prefer the higher, drier ground in partial shade, but never in the woods. Most of the time I find them on the edges of paths, trails, and fields.

The identified active ingredient in lobelia is lobeline. However, there are many other alkaloids and oils in the whole plant (or whole seed) and these other constituents are not well known, and hardly researched, if at all.

close up of seed pods of lobelia inflata

close up of seed pods of lobelia inflata

Whole Herb or Standardized Extracts?

I always use whole herb extracts rather than extracts of a particular component. The standardized extracts make sure a certain component has a certain potency, and for that reason some people prefer to use those. The reason I don’t use standardized extracts I’m never sure if it’s “isolated” or “whole” and I believe those other “unknown” parts are important. There is often synergism between the constituents that is not well understood and rarely researched.

Standardized extracts can be “isolated” or not, so if I were going to use standardized, I’d use the one made with the whole plant or plant part, rather than the one that has isolated a certain compound or active ingredient.

The concept of synergism is easier to see in the plant ephedra. Ephedra (Ma Huang) is where the drug ephedrine comes from. You may recognize this ingredient from the older formulations of sinus medications and energy tablets (back when they really worked).  Ephedrine alone is very effective. But the whole plant contains lots of constituents, not just ephedrine.

The most notable “other” constituents are pseudoephedrine, norpseudoephedrine, methylephedrine, and norephedrine. There are lots of alkaloids in this plant, as in lobelia, and the relationship between them and how they interact with each other and other substances such as caffeine, are not well understood.

Ephedrine is responsible for speeding up the heart rate, giving energy, opening nasal passages… all the things the herb was valued for. Norephedrine and pseudoephedrine and the other alkaloids work in some ways to counter-effect or enhance effect with each other.

Some crafty people with misplaced talents and skills figured out that this plant’s constituents were handy in combination with other chemicals to create the street drug known as meth.

Nature has a reason for including all the constituents in a plant that it does, and science doesn’t understand a fraction of how they interact with each other, so I tend to stick with the wisdom of nature when I can. Even if I don’t understand it particularly well.

My way of using plants for remedies is not a tit-for-tat replacement of regular pharmaceuticals, and I rely a lot on intuition and instinct. Other herbalists are very orderly and meticulous in remedy formulas. Usually I’m not, but I do pay close attention to the ratios when preparing the antispasmodic tincture because lobelia is a very potent herb, and this is a very potent formula.

The Recipe

My recipe is a variation on the one you can find at this page: http://www.herballegacy.com/Anti-Spasmotic.html

  • 1 part lobelia seeds (Lobelia inflata)
  • 1/2 part cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
  • 1 part black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, the name was changed from “Cimufugia” racemosa)
  • 1 part skullcap (Scutellaria laterifolia)
  • 1 part valerian root (Valerian officinalis)
  • 1 part myrrh gum (commiphora myrrha, also mol-mol)

Your *part* should be measured in weight, not volume. Dried leaves weigh a lot less and take up more volume to equal the same weight.

I leave out the skunk cabbage because the plant is rare and hard to find. I usually substitute black haw (viburnum) for the skunk cabbage, but they didn’t have any at the Ozark Natural Foods store this time, so I’m using the valerian instead.

It’s not mentioned in many of the sources, but the lobelia needs an acidic medium for the best extraction, and so I’ll add 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 180 proof alcohol to fill the jar after adding the herbs.

Why these herbs?

  • lobelia- for spasms, cramping
  • cayenne-synergistic, stimulate blood flow
  • black cohosh-for spasms, cramping, inflammation
  • skullcap-helps ease mental stress/distress
  • valerian-relax muscles, ease nerves
  • viburnum-for spasms, cramping
  • myrrh-antibacterial, increase pain tolerance, inflammation

Use with caution!

Especially if you’ve never used lobelia, do some more research and study. The links below are a good start. The dosage that works of the formula I’m using is as low as 5 DROPS. I take 5 drops every 10-15 minutes until I feel relief. I do not like vomiting, so am particularly cautious about the dosage. If you take too much, you will vomit and with gusto. (I suppose there are times when this would be a desired effect, though.) I would not take more than 15-30 drops even if it wasn’t working. I’d just admit defeat unless I thought my tincture was weak.

Lobelia seeds are very tiny so I put the pods, stems and all, in a plastic bag. I'll leave it open and propped up so the plant doesn't mildew or mold and so the remaining pods can finish drying.

Lobelia seeds are very tiny so I put the pods, stems and all, in a plastic bag. I’ll leave it open and propped up so the plant doesn’t mildew or mold and so the remaining pods can finish drying.

Once all the lobelia seeds are out of the pods I'll take the stems out and tincture up the seeds and whatever leaf and pod material is still in the bag.

Once all the lobelia seeds are out of the pods I’ll take the stems out and tincture up the seeds and whatever leaf and pod material is still in the bag.

References

A couple of websites about lobelia or with good explanations of how lobelia is/has been used:

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/l/lobeli38.html

http://www.curezone.org/schulze/handbook/lobelia.asp

http://daradietz.org/blog/2013/07/30/lobelia/

 

About ephedra, black cohosh, myrrh, valerian, scullcap:

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ephedra

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/REM00035/Black-Cohosh-Dr-Weils-Herbal-Remedies.html

http://www.herballegacy.com/Knottnerus_Medicinal.html

http://doctorschar.com/archives/myrrh-commiphora-molmol/

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/REM00009#_ga=1.104141632.1552097102.1441406215

http://altnature.com/gallery/skullcap.htm

Disclaimer: The author and Wild Ozark, LLC makes no guarantees as to the the curative effect of any herb or tonic on this website, and no visitor should attempt to use any of the information herein provided as treatment for any illness, weakness, or disease without first consulting a physician or health care provider. Pregnant women should always consult first with a health care professional before taking any treatment.

Always do your own research and don’t trust any one source for information.


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I always enjoying hearing your nature, homesteading, entrepreneur, self-reliance or ginseng stories, too. And if you had questions and didn't find an answer, or were looking for something specific leave a comment and let me know.

Ginseng in Early September

What Does Ginseng Look Like in Early September?

I went out to check on a few patches and take some photos. Legal digging season started on Sept. 1, but we don’t dig ours yet. The colonies are still small and although some are of legal age, there aren’t enough to make it worth the time and effort digging.

Instead, I spread seeds and take pictures and write about them. The wild colonies that live further away and up in the hills have already been protected by defoliating them. Not by me, but by the diggers I know have gone through there already and gotten what they wanted of them. They do that to keep anyone from coming after them from finding the plants and digging more.

Here’s a few pictures of ginseng in early September. These are in the test plot that are growing under the cedar trees, where they aren’t really supposed to like growing.

A yearling ginseng. That's a young virginia creeper to the right, trying to photo bomb.

A yearling ginseng. That’s a young virginia creeper to the lower right, and an older ginseng barely in the photo at the upper right.

Many of the ones under the cedars still have berries. The plants are just now beginning to turn yellow but haven't begun to drop leaves yet.

Many of the ones under the cedars still have berries. The plants are just now beginning to turn yellow but haven’t begun to drop leaves yet.

A three-prong ginseng with berries still, and lots of younger ones surrounding.

A three-prong ginseng with berries still, and lots of younger ones surrounding.

2015 Roots

And here’s a photo someone sent me of a nice root they’d just dug and cleaned, making sure to leave the root hairs intact. The photo is poor but you can see it’s a nice root.  If you have some interesting ones you’d like to share, email them to me at madison(at)wildozark-dot-com and I’ll put them on the next post.

 

A good sized and old Ozark ginseng root. The photo isn't clear enough for me to see the bud scars, but the neck is at the top with the next year's bud at the very top.

A good sized and old Ozark ginseng root. The photo isn’t clear enough for me to see the bud scars, but from what I can see, it looks about 18 years old. May be more or less. The neck is at the top with the next year’s bud at the very top.

Root Prices 2015

I’ve updated the 2015 Prices page with the latest information from one of our local buyers. If you have prices in your neck of the woods, please leave a comment on that page to let everyone know. Thanks!


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PawPaw’s Notebook

My PawPaw died yesterday afternoon. For anyone unfamiliar with that naming terminology, he was my father’s father. A “grandpaw”, in that same terminology, would be the father of a parent’s parent (great-grandfather). I’m from south Louisiana, and that’s the way we called them.

This post is in memory of him.

He was 95 (I think) and one of the last of the cajun french speakers of my family. I remember waking pre-dawn to the smell of coffee brewing and the sounds of a crowing rooster and cajun talk radio when I used to spend the night there as a child.

He was a lifelong gardener until his eyesight failed a few years ago.  I’m so glad to have asked for his garden notebook a few years ago.

No one else would likely have placed any value on it, and it would likely have been thrown away when his house was cleaned out. But these are the very sort of things I consider as valuable remembrances of a person’s life and passions.

I believe my own passion for gardening comes from my pawpaw, and from his father before him, my grandpaw. More than ten years ago PawPaw gave me the starts for the green onions I’m still dividing and growing today. He called them “shallots”.

When I was little I used to help my grandpaw get seeds from his huge tomato patch. We’d smash the nearly rotten tomatoes that he’d kept for seeds and spread the pulp all over newspapers on the front porch of his old house. I’d walk with my grandpaw down the trail in the woods behind his house.

He’d pick wild strawberries and I’d taste them. He’d cut stalks from the palmettos and make whistle from them.

My dad never enjoyed gardening very much (probably because he had to work too often in the gardens and fields for my grandparents), but he is a big lover of nature, hiking and photography, and I think I’ve inherited my love of those things from him.

So a lot of what makes me who I am comes from that paternal line of influence.

The following is a post I made at almost the very same time of year in 2013 on my old blog.

Sept 3, 2013

I just spent the holiday weekend with family down in Louisiana. The drive to get there is long and I don’t much like it, but I enjoyed visiting.

The flavorful food is always one of the things I like to indulge in while I’m down visiting. Momma fried catfish the night I’d arrived and that was a delicious treat. One of the highlights of my trip was eating out at Mike Anderson’s restaurant in Baton Rouge. It’s my favorite place to eat real Cajun food, aside from going to a relative’s house for supper. I figured my sister’s birthday, even if it was a day late in celebration, was a great excuse to go. Unfortunately I forgot all about getting a picture of us to use on this post.

It’s been a year or so since I’d last been home and things have changed some in our family. My MawMaw died since I’d been there last and I couldn’t take off work at the time to go to the funeral. So it was different being at my pawpaw’s house without her there and I knew I would find that difference uncomfortable. I hadn’t had a chance to visit her before she took the downturn that led to her death, either.  When the opportunity arose to be able to go this past weekend, I figured I’d better visit PawPaw while I still had the chance to see him.

Pawpaw was a life-long gardener. I say “was” because he can’t see well enough to do it anymore. This was the first year I can ever remember there not being a garden at his house.  Not only is the garden not planted, the spot where it used to be has been wiped clean. It was an odd feeling to see that, too. Of course, it’s better to have lawn to mow than raised beds growing up in weeds, but it still felt odd to see the spot like that.

There was a notebook I wanted to ask my pawpaw about. For as long as I can remember, he used to make garden notes in a spiral bound notebook. Since he can’t garden now, I wondered if he still had his notebook and whether he might give it to me. Not that it would have a lot of useful information about gardening specific to my own area (which is a whole zone and a half different in climate), but because it was his. Filled with his handwriting and about a part of his life that was important to him. My sister thought I was nuts because she didn’t remember such a book and when pawpaw didn’t immediately know what I was talking about, she thought her assumption confirmed.

Not so though. I may be nuts, but not because I wanted a notebook that didn’t exist, ha. He did remember. And luckily, it hadn’t been thrown out yet. He went to his dresser and dug it out from beneath a bunch of clothes. He handed it to me and said I could have it. Here’s a picture of him holding it, and that’s me in the background. On the front cover you’ll see some writing, too. That’s all the last frosts of previous years since he’d begun using the notebook. I think the earliest date in it was from 1986, so it’s not his original book and he’s probably thrown out plenty of them over the years. But I got to salvage this last one, at least.

PawPaw's Notebook

PawPaw’s Notebook

 


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An Herbal Hoof Poultice for a Horse

Both of our horses foundered recently and I’m not sure what caused it. I suspect there was a large fruit drop from the persimmon and plum trees after the big flood in June.

The problems caused by eating something like that don’t show up in the hooves for several weeks after the incident, so it’s difficult to track the cause sometimes.

One has recovered for the most part but is still a little tender, the mare is taking longer. She has a lot of separation on one of her back hooves and I believe this is causing her a great deal of pain.

The trimmer came out Saturday and he didn’t see anything other than that. We don’t have a trailer and live more than an hour away from the vet, so I generally treat our animal illnesses and injuries myself.

They’ve both done this before in the past, but then it was a result from getting into a neighbor’s deer feeder, and it was a lot more severe then than it is this time around.

Once the mare (Shasta) had a very negative reaction to the BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) I’d supplemented their diets with, and she was scary bad off during that incident. So bad that she was down and refused to get on her feet. I bathed her hooves and treated them with turmeric (painted it onto her hooves and by adding it to her feed) while she was down and in a couple of days she was back up and wishing she could get out of her stall.

This morning I made an herbal hoof poultice for Shasta. I’m also giving her turmeric and cardamom in her feed to help with inflammation.

Hoof poultice for my horse with laminitis/founder.

Hoof poultice for my horse with laminitis/founder.

First I picked and scraped debris from the separated area, scrubbed her hoof with pine sol and water. Then I put a double-layered ziploc over her hoof. Inside the gallon plastic ziploc bag is a mixture of ground turmeric, ground cardamom, sesame seed oil, and olive oil.

I put a layer of old blue jean directly beneath her hoof and covered it all with a scrap of fabric I had leftover in my sewing box. Attached it with freezer tape. I’ll take it off in the morning. The tape isn’t tight, so it shouldn’t cause circulation problems.

Both the turmeric and cardamom are good for inflammation. The sesame seed oil has antibacterial properties and will also draw out infection, but it is also a good medium for the turmeric and cardamom. Both of those herbs have compounds that are oil soluble but not water soluble, and those are the compounds I want to be absorbed by the hoof. The olive oil is to extend the oil because I didn’t have a lot of sesame.

It also has a small amount of copper sulfate solution in it. The copper sulfate will kill fungus and harden the sole of her hoof. Once I’m certain there’s no abscess that needs to come out, I’ll use comfrey in the poultice. Comfrey will cause the cells inside to heal faster, stitching the hoof wall to the hoof. But this is not good to do where there is abscess because then the abscess has nowhere to go and just festers longer.  I’m not sure the copper sulfate was a good idea, but I didn’t think about it until too late. It may cause more difficulty drawing the abscess if the hoof sole was where it is trying to exit.

I’ll let you know if there’s noticeable improvement in the morning. She’s not putting weight on it at all today. I have bute on hand to give if I need to, but if I do that then she’ll put weight on it because the pain will be less and I’d rather her stay off of it today, at least.

Herbal Handbook For Farm and Stable, London: Faber & Faber, 1952, 1963.

Herbal Handbook For Farm and Stable, London: Faber & Faber, 1952, 1963.

When there’s a long wet spell, I sometimes add a teaspoon of copper sulfate each week to their feed. This keeps them from getting thrush. When the black of their colors start looking reddish, I also do the same because animals with black hair seem to need more copper in their diets.

I learned this use of copper sulfate from a book written by an herbalist who studied with gypsies and other knowledgeable people all over Europe, Juliette de Baïracli Levy.

My copy was lost somewhere between moves from Louisiana to up here, but I just bought another used copy. The author died in 2009 and the book’s been out of print for a long time so you’ll have to find a used copy if you want to get one too. Amazon has some listed. She wrote many books on how to use common herbs for medicines.

 


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This Beaver is One Heck of an Optimist

Beaver Chewed Tree

This beaver must be one heck of an optimist. Either that or he’s a long-term strategist. I’d say both!

Most farmers dislike beavers with a passion bordering hatred. The reason why that is, at least for the ones I asked, is because they’re always trying to back up the creek. And when they’re successful, it causes the ground to become saturated. And then tractors have a tendency to sink to the axles when cutting hay.

I don’t particularly like to see the damage to this tree, but apparently the beaver sees a good need for it… although I can’t imagine any beaver out here needing  *that* tree.  There are plenty of smaller ones it could have used for twigs to strip and eat. And that tree is far too large for any dam on this creek.

Besides, here in the rocky Ozarks, beavers use rocks for dams. This surprised the heck out of me the first time I saw a beaver dam on the creek that follows our road. I thought surely the water must have piled the rocks in a line like that. Then one day I saw the beaver carrying a rock between his front paws. They do add twigs and whatever mud they can find, but the bulk of the dam is made of rocks. And it all washes away in the first good rain.

Beavers are responsible for entire environments, habitats and ecosystems. Their habit of backing up water is beneficial to many life forms. When water backs up, a marsh is created and sometimes a pond. At the very least, the water in the creek before the dam gets deeper, which supports more fish. Many animals thrive in this marsh, from insects, to frogs, turtles, crawfish, minnows and sometimes fish if a pond develops, and birds.

Plants like cattails and skunk cabbage grow in the marsh and pond edges. Sundew do too. Other larger mammals begin to utilize the new environment, too. Deer come to drink, as do all of the other creatures in the area like bears, raccoons, foxes and coyotes and rabbits.

Prey and predator alike benefit from the environment created by beavers.

Only the humans resist the natural and obsessive urge of a beaver. And yet we like to dam rivers at any chance, too. The difference is that our dams are generally on a much larger scale and we tend to groom the boundaries and new inhabitants to suit our own purposes. And we also sometimes allow new ecosystems to build – as long as those ecosystems fall into our plan for the affected surroundings.

The beaver is one of our largest native environmental engineers. Other creatures change ecosystems and environments, but I can’t think of one (apart from humans) that make a bigger impact.

Most of the landowners out here kill them on sight. And I wander our own little creek whispering calls to entice, but my siren pleas go unheard.


serial cover image

If you like fiction, I’m running a free daily dose of Ozarks-based short story.  It’s urban fantasy and short enough to read while having your morning coffee and just long enough to tease. Part 4 is out this morning, but you can catch up on all of the previous installments and subscribe here.

 


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A Picture of a Ginseng Root

Ginseng Roots

Soon the digging season for ginseng will begin here in Arkansas. For those doing a bit of searching online for a picture of a ginseng root, here’s a one of an interesting root design. This one has two necks and two root portions, but only one bud.

This is a picture of a ginseng root. The bud for next year is on the lower left horizontal. The skinny part in the center is the other neck.

This is a picture of a ginseng root. The bud for next year is on the lower left horizontal. The skinny part in the center is the other neck.

Sometimes the roots will get damaged and begin growing a different direction. Sometimes there’s a rock in the way. There’s no telling why a ginseng root will take the shape it does, but the wild ones are often quite tricky when digging because of the way they reach in unexpected directions.

A few things distinguish a ginseng root from other roots. One is the neck with bud scars. Each year the stem leaves a scar when it dies back in fall. The bud for next year is already in place and waiting for spring. On the root portion you can see concentric rings where dirt collects and stains.

Those rings are a defining thing to look for, as are the bud scars on the neck.  Judging from the scars, the root pictured above is probably more than 15 years old. I don’t have the root here to examine now, and it’s sometimes harder to see when they’re dried, but it’s likely older than that. The stem swaps sides each year, so there’s a scar on either side of the neck.

Here in the Ozarks, at least in our area in northwest Arkansas, most of the berries have already fallen. The leaves are beginning to turn yellow and with all the rain we’ve had, some of the plants have actually died back already. They should come back next year. Some of mine were probably washed out in the flooding we had during June. Those might find new root in new locations if they washed high enough ashore in a good place.

My seeds should arrive in early October and then I’ll be in the woods daily planting new stock. In April next year I should have a lot of new seedlings to bring to the Huntsville Farmer’s Market. I have some new locations I want to test, too, so I’ll be planting some in places I haven’t tried before.

Mired in a To-Do List

I haven’t been making many posts lately to my blog.

Lately it seems I’ve been busier than normal and I haven’t even been out to take my usual slew of photos.

Writing Fiction

Almost all of the priority items on my to-do list have been indoor things, like catching up on business ledgers. And posting a daily dose of short story to my list members who like fiction.

I’ve also been working on a novel. I tend to go quiet on the blog sometimes when I’m working on fiction projects but I might start posting a few excerpts from the novel here and there.

Seasonal Allergies

Then, too, the ragweed is blooming now. It’s the one plant that really doesn’t get along well with me.

So I do tend to stay indoors until the worst of the pollen has drifted away.

But I’m getting antsy to be outdoors.

Being indoors so much is beginning to make me a bit stir crazy.


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A New Thing – Wild Ozark Serial Fiction

Short Stories

Serial fiction delivered to your inbox in 100-300 word segments each day until the story is finished.

Wild Ozark Newsletter

This is just a short message to invite you to join me for short sections of a short story every morning. I’m breaking up some of my previously published short stories and sending them out in 100-300 word sections every morning at 4 a.m. (Central, if MailChimp is on my time).

These are designed to be just enough to get a quick fiction fix before heading out the door for work while you’re having your morning coffee.

If you’d like to get them, click the link at the bottom of this email and sign up for the newsletter. If you’re already a member, enter your email address and it ought to give you an email with a secure link to update your preferences. When you’re at the MailChimp preference screen, click on the box for “Short Story, 100-300 words per day”. You’ll only get it if you opt in by checking that box. This will not affect the normal monthly newsletter.

Once the first story is finished, I’ll get another one ready to send. There might be a few weeks between, depending on how quickly I can get my act together for the next story. Before each story begins, I’ll tell you a little about and if there is any explicit language or situations, I’ll tell you so you can opt out of it if you want.

The first story is Ozark Pixies. Here’s the blurb for it over at Amazon:

Norma is a newcomer to the Ozarks and she is convinced she’s seeing pixies, little creatures known only in the local legends. When she captures one it turns out to be a vengeful creature and she soon wishes she’d never have attempted to prove to her husband that she wasn’t imagining things. Set in the Ozarks. 2700 word short story. Content: safe for general audience. I think I might have used “ass” in it once.

To have the stories delivered to your inbox, sign up or update your preferences to check off the box for it if you’re already a Wild Ozarkian. Here’s the link: Wild Ozark Newsletter


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I always enjoying hearing your nature, homesteading, entrepreneur, self-reliance or ginseng stories, too. And if you had questions and didn't find an answer, or were looking for something specific leave a comment and let me know.

Abu Dhabi Engages All Five Senses

There are three sounds I’ll associate with Abu Dhabi for the rest of my life. The first is the sound of prayer during the dark wee hours of the night. It’s a haunting sound, one I liked even if I couldn’t understand the words and don’t follow the religion they’re from. The sound of it is broadcast from the many mosques (all villages/neighborhoods have a mosque). I found it comforting and it immediately brought me to a state of meditation and reflection.

Doves calling and the wind rattling through the dried acacia pods on the trees outside my husband’s villa.

This sound I tried to capture, but I couldn’t get a good recording. If you turn the volume all the way up you might be able to get the experience in this sound bite:

Abu Dhabi engages all of the senses, all of the time:

  • humid furnace-like heat
  • flavors of world cuisine
  • expanses of desert wasteland
  • cultures of many peoples
  • haggling for carpet
  • architecture
  • immense commercial growth
  • shopping
  • wealth
  • beauty
  • perfumes

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Thank you for visiting!

I always enjoying hearing your nature, homesteading, entrepreneur, self-reliance or ginseng stories, too. And if you had questions and didn't find an answer, or were looking for something specific leave a comment and let me know.

Disappearing for a while

Just a notice to anyone who might wonder why there’s been no posts for a while…

I’d been really busy finishing up some projects (10 Common Plants and American Ginseng & Companions). Now that those are done I’m taking a too-short but much anticipated vacation and break from the internet.

When I’m back online I have  some fiction projects to work on and I’m already looking forward to that.

In addition to the ginseng and nature-blogging, I’m a fiction writer. Most of it is either influenced by my life out here or is actually set in the Ozarks.

Beginning when I return I’ll begin a serialized short story. I’ll post 100-200 words per day of a short story until it’s all posted. I’ll also begin working on pod-casting the same things.

It’s just one more way to put a few more eggs in the self-reliance basket. I haven’t tried selling fiction yet, other than simply posting a short story or two to Amazon. I’m not sure it’ll add much to the bottom line. But it’s something I enjoy and it’s been too long since I’ve immersed in the magical side of the Ozarks.

The first story up for serializing is Ozark Pixies. It’s scheduled to begin on August 14.

When I have anything posted at the Fantasy site, I’ll drop a link to it here. I hope you’ll join me sometimes!

ozark pixies serial story advertisement graphic

Ignore the date. I was too ambitious when I made the graphic!

 


Thank you for visiting!

I always enjoying hearing your nature, homesteading, entrepreneur, self-reliance or ginseng stories, too. And if you had questions and didn't find an answer, or were looking for something specific leave a comment and let me know.

Death from Above – Wasp vs Mantis

There are lots of videos at YouTube about wasp vs mantis, but they always show the mantis winning. Today I saw a wasp carrying the head of a praying mantis. I saw one yesterday, too.

I’ve found lots of info online about the mantis eating the wasps, but nothing about wasps eating them.

The praying mantis is so helpful in the garden, and the wasps are too (except they sting and hurt like hell), but I didn’t realize the two were enemies of each other!

I’d rather have the praying mantis than the wasp…

wasp eating mantis

Looks like the waps won this fight.


Thank you for visiting!

I always enjoying hearing your nature, homesteading, entrepreneur, self-reliance or ginseng stories, too. And if you had questions and didn't find an answer, or were looking for something specific leave a comment and let me know.
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