Fall color for the week ending Nov. 1, 2014

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

Hmmm…

it appears a gallery of images isn’t working, which means none of the photos on my 2014 Fall Color Watch page is showing up now. Let’s see if a single image will post:

2014 fall in the ozarks 5

single red leaf

Yes, well that works. Until I can find out why the galleries aren’t working, here’s all of them one by one, then.

It’s working now. Not sure what’s the problem, but if I put them in slideshows instead of tiled galleries, it works.

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

Herbalist’s Journal: The Witch Hazel is blooming

This entry was posted in Fall color, Herb Walk in the Ozarks, Herbalism, Herbalist's Journal, Nature, Plants, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal on by .

Yesterday we took a 4-wheeler ride around the back roads nearby. This little adventure ended up taking about 4 hours, which was far longer than I’d expected but produced a lot of nice photos, at least. All in all, we only circumnavigated one mountain, but that turned out to be quite a long distance from start to finish, ha.

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

On the route we saw some blooming witch hazel. The deep blue skies contrasted nicely with the bright yellow spidery flowers.

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blooms on the hazel

The rest of the photos are uploaded to the 2014 Fall Color Watch page, if you’d like to see them. Here’s another of the witch hazel that shows more of the shrub with leaves and flowers:

2014 fall in the ozarks 2

witch hazel bush

I’ve never made remedies with this herb, but I do plan to do so in the future. Here’s the plan: to make an astringent tonic (for external use) I’ll gather the budding twigs and leaves in early spring and add them to a jar with 40% alcohol (I use diluted Everclear, but moonshine also works nicely). I’ll also add gel from the aloe vera we keep on the porch and if I have any growing at the time, I’ll add comfrey root. The witch hazel provides astringency which is great for tightening pores, relieving hemorrhoids and easing bruising while the aloe and comfrey promote speedy skin reparations. There’s some controversy over using the comfrey root, so do some research if you decide to make a remedy at home. Definitely do not use comfrey when there is puncture or deep wounds involved because it’ll cause the wound to heal over on the surface before the deeper parts are done draining, and that’ll lead to abscesses and infection.

Commercial witch hazel tonic is made by distilling the plant parts and collecting the water that condensates during the process. What I’ve described making is an extract, or tincture. The properties will be similar, but a tincture is generally stronger and contains both fat and water-soluble properties of the plants used. Sometimes this is not desirable, so keep that in mind.

You can go here to read more about Hamamelis virginiana at the USDA plant profile site.

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

A truce with Scrivener and a beautiful morning.

This entry was posted in Fall color, Nature, Outdoors, Writer's Journal, Writing, Writing Life on by .

After much cursing and beating my fist on the table last night, I managed to figure out my problem with Scrivener. Or, at least I figured out enough to get clues on how to eventually make it do what I’m wanting to do.

So I’ve made progress and am delighted to say that there will be new and improved editions of the DIY Ginseng Habitat & Site Assessment Guide and later for the Sustainable Ginseng. Do any of you other writers out there know whether Amazon will notify customers that an updated version is available? Should I make this a second edition, or just update the file on the initial upload?

I can also see now how to use the program to produce the photo books so that I can include links. The inability to insert links using the comic creator program is a major hindrance, I think, but with any luck I’ll be able to format the photo books using Scrivener without having to give up image quality. If not, I’ll do without the links and continue with the rest of the series the way the first two have been done.

This morning was gorgeous so I took a couple of photos. Keep tabs on our colors at the 2014 Fall Color page (I’ll be adding these to it shortly):

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ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

Scrivener, let’s try to be friends.

This entry was posted in Musings on by .

Arrrggghhhh! I’ve been beating my head against the wall  I’ve been formatting photo ebooks (this one’s free today, btw) using Kindle’s Comic Creator and it’s working great for that format. But for an e-book with more text than photos I need to use something else.

Scrivener is a great program and I’d used it once a while ago. Why is it so great? Because you can output your manuscript in many different formats without having to recode it all for each. But my version was old and when I opened it today to use it for the first time in more than a year, I found that it had several updates since my original purchase.

My relationship with Scrivener in those first days was only cursory. I used it to produce my short stories to sell on Amazon and for that it was still an arduous ordeal. In the end, though, the stories came out looking alright. I’d also used it to create the first ginseng e-book, Sustainable Ginseng. For the DIY Ginseng Habitat & Site Assessment, I uploaded a Word file directly to Amazon and let them convert it.

Now that I have my own color e-reader (a Samsung Galaxy my husband bought me for my early birthday/Christmas gift), I see that the online previewer for Kindle lied to me. The ginseng ebooks do not appear the way I had intended at all. Many of the photos are entirely too small and text runs from one page to another when it should not. The online previewer did not show me these issues. Now I have two books that have been on the market for nearly a year with substandard formatting. This upsets me.

What upsets me even more is how difficult I’m finding it to figure out how to use the darn program.

But anyway, I’m going to get it figured out and when I do I’ll upload new versions of both ginseng ebooks. If you’d purchased one of them previously and were unsatisfied with the photos in them, let me know and I’ll make sure you get the updated files.

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ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

Have a color e-Reader? Get “Before the Unfurling” FREE on Thursday 10/23

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

Free for one day only, Thursday Oct. 23:

wild ozark nature journal cover image

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

Introducing A Wild Ozark Nature Journal

This is a new line of books I’ll be self-publishing. Most of them will be photo-essay types and only available for Kindle (or readers that can use the Kindle app, like my Samsung Galaxy).

The first series of this line is Into the Ginseng Wood, a photographic journal of ginseng through the seasons. The first two titles of this series are available now at Amazon. “Before the Unfurling” showcases the flowers that bloom before ginseng unfurls. It covers the period of time between late March and mid-April. “The Unfurling” captures the unfurling of ginseng and goldenseal and shows photos of these and other companion plants from unfurling at mid-April through the end of April. The next titles will show the plants through the rest of the growing season.

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

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!

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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

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

Beautiful Red October Sunset

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

Color in the sky last evening rivaled the color of the leaves. For a brief few moments the red October sunset was spectacular.

red october sunset

Red October sunset

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

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.

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

Down our County Road – Fall Color

This entry was posted in Fall color, Nature, Outdoors, Wild Ozark's Nature Journal on by .
fall down our county road

Beautiful fall day today!

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.

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.

ABOUT the AUTHOR: My name is Madison Woods. If I'm not in the woods looking for plants to photograph, look for me behind the keyboard where I'm either writing stories or compiling books from the photos, or else I'm somewhere outside working on the Wild Ozark homestead with my husband. Here is my About page if you'd like to know more. We live in Northwest, AR where I'm the author at Wild Ozark. As soon as we can get a shop built for Rob, we'll also have woodworking and craft items to sell.