Ginseng Jams & Nature Art Cards on a Chilly Day

I’ll be in the Kingston square with the Wild Ozark booth on Saturday selling ginseng jams, nature art, and fairy gardens.

Ginseng Jams from Wild Ozark can only be purchased from us directly. No mail orders allowed under the AR Cottage Food Law.
The premier ginseng jam, golden in color and sweet, mild flavor. Great on toast or crackers to start your day.

Chilly Day

For weeks it’s been warmer than usual and so I decided I’d set up the Wild Ozark booth on the Kingston square this weekend to take advantage of some of that nice weather.

So of course now it’s going to be ordinary for February weather. Tomorrow’s high is supposed to be around 45*F, which I suppose is still fairly warm for a winter day.

But it’s not the balmy 70 we’ve been seeing.

Bringing out the Ginseng Jams

Anyway, I’m going to take the booth out there anyway. I’ll have ginseng jams, nature art cards, nature drawing prints, a couple of Wild Ozark Fairy Garden terrariums, and a few books.

Rural Fantasy Fiction

One of my books that I won’t have with me is going to be free at Amazon this weekend. It’s First Hunt, the complete first book of the Bounty Hunter series. The title at Amazon, as of the time I’m making this post, still says “Part One” on it, but that will hopefully update soon. It’s saved to Amazon, but they haven’t changed it yet.

First Hunt, book one of the Bounty Hunter series by Ima Erthwitch.I’d first released it in parts, but revised the Amazon listing to only list this one instead. If you do get the download while it’s free, please let me know if it still ends at “part one”. When I use the “Look Inside” feature, it shows me the whole book. But when I order the free sample, it still only shows me part one.

At first I thought doing it in 25,000 word parts would be a good idea. But then when it came time to figure out what to do with all the parts once the novel was published, I decided I won’t be doing it that way anymore.

First Hunt takes the reader from Treya’s beginnings with ARSA and follows through the first kill on her first assignment. I’m working on the second book now, tentatively titled “Twice Dead”.

There will be a third kill, but I won’t call the last one “Third Dead”, lol. I think it’ll be called “Grub Stage” instead. The concept of the series is that the ARSA bounty hunters kill their targets three times to force them into lower incarnations. Grub Stage is the lowest and is reserved for the worst criminals.

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About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Watching for Witch Hazel Flowers

Witch Hazel Flowers

Witch hazel flowers are an interesting sight to behold. The petals on the small flowers are thin and wild. The shrub blooms during the most unlikeliest time of the year.

It is one of my favorite plants in the Ozarks. She is an untamed rebel, even if she  or her hybridized cousins do grow well in urban gardens or hedgerows.

Two Wild Species

We have two varieties of witch hazel here in the Ozarks. One blooms in late fall and the other blooms in late winter.

H. virginiana

Hamamelis virginiana is by far the most abundant here on our land. This witch hazel blooms in late fall with spidery yellow flowers. Sometimes you’ll even see it blooming after the leaves have dropped off.

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) flowers and autumn color.
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) flowers and autumn color.

H. virginiana grows in many areas east of the Rockies in the United States, usually around water’s edge or in rich, moist woodlands.

Witch hazel leaves in summer. (H. virginiana)
Witch hazel leaves in summer. (H. virginiana)

H. vernalis

The other species is called Ozark Witch Hazel, or Vernal Witch Hazel. This one is endemic only to the Ozarks and blooms in late winter or very early spring. These witch hazel flowers are more of a reddish, orange color. I’ve heard they have a delightful fragrance, too, but I haven’t caught them in full bloom to get a firsthand experience.

Ozark witch hazel flowers, just before the petals opened or right after they fell off. This photo was taken in Feb. 2015.
Ozark witch hazel flowers, just before the petals opened or right after they fell off. This photo was taken in Feb. 2015.

I know where some are, though, and am going to go check on them today or tomorrow. If I’m lucky, I’ll add the pics to this post. And let you know if, indeed, they do smell nice.

Update Feb. 6, 2017: Found some!
Vernal witch hazel blooming on Feb. 6, 2017
Vernal witch hazel blooming on Feb. 6, 2017

Rob and I went out to do a little exploring along the upper Felkins creek and we found some blooming! And YES, they do smell nice. The scent isn’t powerful but it is sweet.

During early spring of 2015 I took cuttings and was having some success with them, but an unusual landslide-producing epic flood wiped out the nursery that summer.

When I do find them, I plan to take some cuttings. If they root, I’ll have some to offer in the Nature Boutique nursery this year.

You can read more about the Ozark Witch Hazel in this article at the Springfield News-Leader.

Witch Hazel in my Fiction

In the first book of the Bounty Hunter series, Treya tries chewing on a witch hazel twig. I’m going to cut a twig tomorrow and see if it’s as nasty as she thinks it is. If it’s not so bad, I’ll have to rewrite this scene.

Update: When we found the flowers blooming, I did taste a twig and it was NOT unpleasant and it did not pucker my mouth. I’ll have to update that passage.

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Coffee Break Reading and some pretty cool Leggings

No Qualms by Madison DuBois serial cover imageGet “No Qualms” delivered to your inbox in daily short bites. Perfect for coffee break reading. And check out the cool leggings featuring one of my nature journal entries.

One of my passions that I haven’t indulged much in lately is story writing. Until recently I’ve been working exclusively on nonfiction. Added to that I’ve been working on the marketing end of business, which is a lot like nonfiction, even if it does allow for a certain level of creativity.

Since wrapping up the American Ginseng & Companions book, and then the My Nature Journal book, I’ve been working on my novel Bounty Hunter again. I’ll be uploading it chapter by chapter to Wattpad until I’m ready to publish it, then I’ll take it down. If you want to read it as it unfolds, click here to begin reading now.

A little something for both of us

To help myself get back into the groove and give a little something to fans of fiction out there in my Wild Ozark world, I’m taking an old story (No Qualms) out of the file and will begin parsing it out as 200 – 300 or so daily words of fiction. This will go out only to newsletter subscribers who have checked off the box to get the Free Reads.

The main character in No Qualms will eventually meet up with the Treya and DRSS from my novel, so this story is a little background on Ledeir for you if you will be reading Bounty Hunter when I’m done 🙂

This begins Sunday, Oct. 25. If you’d like to get your free coffee break reading serial, subscribe to the monthly newsletter and be sure to click the appropriate box on the signup form. If you’re already a subscriber and didn’t get the last story I did this with, then you’ll need to update your preferences. You can do both from here. If you’re already a subscriber, when you enter your email address it’ll direct you to the update form (I think and hope): http://eepurl.com/Q2dBP

Nom de Plume

Oh, and by the way, if you didn’t notice the name on the cover image, I’ve adopted the French version of my name for all of my fiction work 🙂

Reading it Later

When the series is complete through the email sends, I’ll post the whole thing over at my new fiction blog: http://fiction.wildozark.com. You can read the previous coffee break read (Ozark Pixies) there now.

Nature Sketching, One of my Other Passions

A second passion I have been making a point of indulging is nature sketching. I’m very excited about this. It’s been more than twenty years since I’ve done much artwork and I can’t even begin to explain the magnitude of my gratitude that the ability is still with me after neglecting it for so long.

Old rock wall, by Madison Woods

If you love nature sketches, you’ll enjoy my new website devoted entirely to that subject: http:www.wildozarknaturejournal.com.

Check out the leggings!

I’m doing all sorts of cool things with the sketches and offering them as products. None of them are listed in the online catalog yet, but if you’re local you’ll be able to find them on the square in Kingston at Place on the Square Ice Cream Parlor/Coffee-shop/Vintage Store. So far, they’re carrying my post/note cards and blank nature journals. Let me know what kind of interesting items you’d like to see made from my journal entries.

There are more products, including leggings(!) made with one of the journal entries at RedBubble.

Nature Journal Leggings at RedBubble.com
Nature Journal Leggings at RedBubble.com

 

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

Tangerine Sunrise, Goodreads Giveaway, Nature Sketching

When the sun rose high enough to top the trees it washed the hills in a tangerine glow. The trees are changing fast now and I really want to take pictures every day.

Photo quality isn't all that great but you can see how bright it makes the oranges when the sun hits the hills in the morning.
Photo quality isn’t all that great but you can see how bright it makes the oranges when the sun hits the hills in the morning.

I have been drawing more often than photographing these days. Here’s the journal entry for the most recent native plant subject. It’s so dry and being late in the season, only a few of the natives in my favorite deep woods habitat are still green (at least of the ones I visit most often), but even the aging ones with spots and yellowing borders are still beautiful in the way things of autumn often are.

If you click on the image it’ll bring you to my online journal website:

Wild Ozark Nature Sketch Day 23 - Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
Wild Ozark Nature Sketch Day 23 – Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

If you enjoy sketching or want to begin, I have blank nature journals just for you. Beginning on Oct. 15 and running through Oct. 31 you can enter my Goodreads Giveaway to win a copy with an original sketch and journal entry in it by me. There are also four black and white journal entries as part of the front pages (the inspiration) of the journal.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Nature Journal by Madison Woods

My Nature Journal

by Madison Woods

Giveaway ends October 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


And if you would enjoy a little fiction with your morning coffee, be sure to sign up for my newsletter or set your preferences if you already have so you can get the “Free Reads”. I’m working on serializing “No Qualms” and hope to begin daily deliveries of it on November 1.

No Qualms Serial Cover Image
Click the image to go to the newsletter signup form. I believe when you put in your address it’ll let you change preferences if you’re already a member.

Here’s a nice fat rose hip down by the gate. I’m not sure what variety of rose it is, but the flower is a beautiful deep red and when the japanese beetles leave it alone it makes the most spectacular buds which open to a pretty, but fairly ordinary rose.

Rose hip
Rose Hip

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

A Picture of a Ginseng Root

Click HERE for pictures of 2015 roots from readers.

Odd 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. The one pictured below is from last year.

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.
Ohio ginseng roots 2015, looks like a man!
A man-shaped root from Ohio. Click here to read the story about it.

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.

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

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

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods

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!

 

I ♥ Wild Ozark's blog! #Nature www.wildozark.com Click To Tweet

About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods

I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.


Ways You Can Support Wild Ozark

  • Spread the Word

    Share this post or tell a friend about my website. "From little acorns do mighty oaks grow." A little thing like sharing could start momentum! This is a free and tremendously powerful way to help.

  • Buy a Book

    See all of my books here:
    Nonfiction: Madison Woods Amazon Author's Page.
    Fiction: Ima Erthwitch Amazon Author's Page.

  • Shop at our Nature Boutique

    Unique gifts, books, and information for the nature lovers in your life. Adding more items as time allows: Wild Ozark Nature Boutique.

  • Become a Patron

    A small monthly stipend of even $1 from enough supporters will help me continue the educational outreach and construction of habitat gardens. More information here: https://www.patreon.com/wildozark

Thank you for reading and/or participating in this Wild Ozark community! ~ Madison Woods