Homestead Journal: Autumn colors and Baby Chicks

This entry was posted in Fall color, Homestead Journal, Nature, Outdoors on by .

Autumn colors

The first set of photos for the week ending 10/25 have been posted to the 2014 Fall Color Watch page. If you have a blog, link up to share your autumn colors!


Baby Chicks

Remember the chicks that were eaten by the snake a couple of months ago? Well, the hen was still broody after that and began sitting on eggs in the henhouse. After she seemed determined enough to stay the course I moved her and the eggs to the brooder. Rob reinforced it so no more snakes could get in.

Today we have 4 little new arrivals to the Wild Ozark homestead. Biddies are so cute!

chick 1 chick 2 chick 3

Finally a sunny fall color day

This entry was posted in Fall color, Nature, Outdoors, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal on by .

It was close to 40*F this morning when the sun came up. Halfway through my feeding-the-critters daily task I went back uphill to the house to grab my camera. The sun coming through the great oak out front was gorgeous.

fall in the wild ozarks

You can view the rest of my fall collection and the others who have joined the virtual tour on the 2014 Color Watch page and if you have a blog showcasing autumn’s colors wherever you are in the world, you can join the Virtual Fall Color blog tour by clicking the little blue icon at the bottom. That’s where you’ll add your link.

Nature Photography: “Before the Unfurling”

This entry was posted in american ginseng, Nature, Outdoors, Plants, where does ginseng grow, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal on by .

I’ve just posted a new product profile for this at our online shop. Click the image to go there now and find out more about it. If you love the woodland plants or nature photography, you’ll enjoy this e-Book for Kindle (and color readers that support the Kindle app).

wild ozark nature journal cover image

20 beautiful full-color, full-page photos of plants that bloom or rise before ginseng unfurls.

More Fall color in the Wild Ozark hills

This entry was posted in Fall color, Nature, Outdoors, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal on by .

Fall Color

I took an early morning walkabout with the camera to get some more photos of fall color since the rain seems to have stopped for a while.

fall color 2014 at wild ozark

The woodpile next to the old bell with color in the background.

The rest of the photos are posted at the Fall Color Watch 2014 page, so click here to go over there to see them. If you have photos on your blog and you want to share be sure to add a link to your post with the InLinkz button below the last set of photos.

A Book in Progress

I’ve decided to self-publish my book of photos. I’ll upload in by chapters to Amazon soon, with the first chapter being “Before the Unfurling”. This book is showcasing the habitat for ginseng throughout the year. It starts in very early spring, before anything has begun to grow and goes through the unfurling to the fruiting and finally to the fall harvest. If you’d like to be a beta-tester for the chapters as I get each one ready to publish, email me (madison(at)wildozark(dot)com) and I’ll send you the files. I’ll need to know how it displays on your reader and whether you have suggestions for changes in grammar, style, or anything else. You’ll need to know how to add a file to your reader. If your reader isn’t a Kindle, then it’ll need to have the app on it that allows you to read Kindle books.

Into the Ginseng Wood book cover

Into the Ginseng Wood cover


trout lily

One of the frames from “Into the Ginseng Wood”, first chapter “Before the Unfurling”.

Ozarks Fall Color Watch 2014

This entry was posted in Fall color, Nature, Outdoors, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal on by .

This post kicks off my annual Ozarks Fall Color Watch! As the color intensifies I’ll be posting updates and adding them to this page so check back every so often or watch for my announcements that new pics have been posted on the WildOzark facebook page:

Wild Ozark’s Fall Color 2014

  • Week ending 10/25

  • Week ending 10/18

    The Ozarks fall color is intensifying but hasn’t yet peaked. So far I haven’t seen the maples blazing orange, which seems to me a mark of color height. It rained every day for the past several days so I didn’t get to add any more photos to last week’s set. Sunday marks the beginning of this week’s set and I’ve added 26 images to this gallery. I’ll make a new gallery if I get to take more during the week and add it below this one.

    From a walkabout down the driveway early this overcast and misty morning.

    Week ending October 11, 2015

Today the predominant colors are of the yellow hues with red marking the sassafras, sumac , dogwoods and black gum. Oaks, sycamores and maples are showing more yellow. I’ll post more pics later, and hopefully better ones. These are the ones from the porch the morning of 10/09.

Share your Color

Join me from wherever you are in the world.

If you want to add the linkup code to your site, click here.

Nature Journal: Jack-o-Lantern Mushroom

This entry was posted in Nature, Outdoors, Plants, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal on by .

Today Rob came in with the most interesting mushroom find yet.

Jack-o-Lantern mushroom

Jack-o-Lantern mushroom

One of the characteristics to identify it is Omphalotus illudens, or Jack-o-Lantern mushroom, is that it glows in the dark. (“Illudens” is very similar to “illuminate”, isn’t it? Well, not so much. Vincent over at Flora and Fauna let me know the word’s root means “to mock”. So perhaps it refers to the similarity between itself and the edible chanterelle?) So what did we do? We put the cluster in the only dark room we have and stood in the dark waiting. The book said in 5 – to -10 minutes it would glow if fresh. Well these were fresh. And so we stood in the dark… waited… and I saw a brief flash and figured my eyes were tricking me. Waited some more… 5-10 minutes seems to last a while if you’re standing in the bathroom in the dark… and then I could see it glowing!

Of course, the fact that they glowed positively id’d them as a poisonous mushroom, but the experiment was fascinating. There was no way for me to get a photo of them glowing, but the color was a fluorescent white. Not too bright, but enough to be unmistakable. It would be pretty cool to see them in the woods glowing at night.

Nature Journal: Spider-Hunter Bee

This entry was posted in Nature, Predator vs Prey on by .

I witnessed something very interesting the other day. We’ve been having a large spider-hunter bee buzzing around outside. At the time I didn’t KNOW it hunted spiders, but suspected that it was looking for them on the porch by the way it cruised around seemingly *just looking* around. It always comes around to pester me when I’m on the porch.

Today I watched it hovering around a spider’s web in the elm next to the porch. The large spider waited for insects in the center of its web. Then the bee appeared to get himself stuck in part of the web, but the spider didn’t try to get it. It struggled for a few seconds and became free. Afterwards it zoomed right over to the bee and attacked it, stinging it several times before it got stuck in the web again. The spider dropped on a silken thread to a lower limb.

When the bee again freed itself, it began searching for the spider. Apparently the spider had hidden well because the bee didn’t find it. But I suspect if it had, it would have carried the spider off to somewhere and given it to its larvae to feed on, in the same way I know dirt dobbers do.

I’m not sure if this is a bee or a wasp or what… insects aren’t my forte’, lol, but this is what it looks like. When it got in the house Rob swatted it across the room with the fly swat and rendered it unconscious but not dead. When I told him it had tried to kill a spider, he didn’t kill it but put it back outside. I kind of prefer the spiders…

Do you know what it is?

On the Cusp of Change

This entry was posted in american ginseng, Musings, Nature, Outdoors, Plants, Wild Ozark Products, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal, Writer's Journal on by .

Writer’s Journal Entry

The end of one season and beginning of another is a liminal period, a sort of ‘tween-ness’, and I love those spans of time the most.

This time of year always sends me inward. It’s hard not to become antisocial. Today I was able to immerse, almost literally, into the earth. I followed my bliss as I crawled around on the forest floor planting ginseng seeds and taking pictures.

Yes, I got filthy dirty and full of ticks, too. Being dirty doesn’t bother me. I actually feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m in bad need of a bath. It usually means I got a lot done when I’m walking around in that condition. The ticks, on the other hand, I could do without. However, I’m willing to take the good with the bad.

Most of the photos I took today are going to be used in my current work in progress.

Into the Ginseng Wood

The first in a series of many photo essay collections

My first two books on ginseng were self-published. Mainly, that was because it’s hard to get a niche book published traditionally, and the information in those books were timely and I wanted them available as soon as possible.

This Nature Journal book is a book I want to have traditionally published because I won’t be able to do it justice in print by going through Createspace and I can’t afford to have it printed professionally on my own.

So I have a few projects on the table right now, with this one stealing the majority of my attention. Also waiting to be worked on some more is the Forest Companions Card collection, which is the collage project showing ginseng and each of the companions.

I’m also still doing the FAB tutorial at my Listen website, which takes a couple of days for each lesson. I can’t get ahead on it because I only have those two days a week to spend on it, so I’m doing them right before they’re posted each weekend.

Other projects that have been moved to the back burner include my collection of flash fiction, the plant spirit cards (which has actually kind of morphed into the Forest Companions anyway), the next novel I wanted to start (based on my Bounty Hunter short story), and any other fiction I had planned to do.

I’ve decided to give myself over fully to my work with ginseng – and there are so many things I want to do it’s hard to restrain myself from starting one new project after another. There’s a calendar I’d like to produce, too. The priority right now is at least getting the outline of the Nature Journal book and the photos chosen so I can start the query process on it. Here’s another one of the tentative pages from it. This is from the chapter Before the Unfurling Begins, which moves from early through late spring:

snow in the wild ozarks

One of the images of the time period before unfurling of the ginseng and companions.

Anyway, this is where my creative mind has dwelled for the past few weeks. I love this time of year.