Science and Nature

These are the posts that are on the scientific side of nature.

How Ginseng Stewardship Also Benefits the Landowner

Someone asked me yesterday about how ginseng stewardship benefits the landowner. It stumped me at first, because I’d never considered it from that angle. What is Stewardship? To steward something is to manage or take care of something. The short answer to this post’s question is yes. Stewardship benefits the landowner, especially if they want …

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Black Cohosh or Doll’s Eyes? Companion Look A-Likes

Black Cohosh or Doll’s Eyes? Trying to differentiate between black cohosh and doll’s eyes before they come into bloom, has been frustrating. It’s very easy to tell once they begin the blooming process as the flower stems originate in different places and the flowers themselves are very different. Both of these woodland herbs grow in …

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Join me at the 8th Annual Agroforestry Symposium in Columbia, MO

January 26, 2017 We’ll be there representing Wild Ozark and I’ll be participating in the discussion panel for medicinal plant growers and entrepreneurs. Come out and meet us, talk about ginseng and the new habitat garden, or just say hello.

How to Identify Plants in the Wild, How to Search and Find Clues

Earlier this year I surveyed my newsletter members for their top questions. Here’s one about how to identify plants found in the outdoors. Top Questions It’s more of a comment than a question, but I’m creating this post in response to it. Although I’ve paraphrased some, I believe the underlying question would be “how to identify …

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Imposter by Nature – Hognose Snake

Valerie, don’t read this post… it’s about a hognose snake and there are pictures 😉 Situational Awareness Lesson This is a negative lesson. Don’t do what I do. Luckily for me, it wasn’t as bad a situation as it could have been. I stepped off the driveway to get closer to a deciduous magnolia sapling …

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Ozark Backroad Photo Journey – Come Along for the Ride

Whenever I go away from the house alone, I take my camera. A simple run to the post office or to town becomes an Ozark Backroad Photo Journey. I generally try not to do this when I have passengers or am myself a passenger. It seems that stopping as often as I do when I’m …

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Wild Ozark Musings – December Newsletter

Below you’ll find the December issue of Wild Ozark Musings, a newsletter about nature, ginseng, and our wild Ozark life. Ordinarily I send this out as an email near the beginning of the month to subscribers. This month I didn’t get it sent until mid-month. Sometimes I post the newsletter to my blog later during the …

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Inventions Inspired by Nature

How often do you see something in the natural world and marvel at the design of it? The way a hummingbird can hover and maneuver is pretty amazing and I can imagine one day there might be aircraft that can mimic that ability (if such things don’t already exist somewhere in secret). Turns out that …

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Nature Workshop with Madison Woods

What happens at a nature workshop? My nature workshop is designed to help you reconnect to nature and express your experience through art, writing, and photography. It can be tailored for whatever environment is available (even cities have nature), but generally we’ll take a nature walk, look at plants and wildlife, listen to the sounds …

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Wild Ozark Nature Journal on Kindle

What is a sketch / nature journal? Sometimes nature writers like to doodle while they’re interpreting nature. My nature journal is a combination of art and written journal entry. It is both nature sketching and nature journal. Here are some sample pages from my first collection. All of my work can be seen at WildOzark.com/naturejournal/as I do …

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This Beaver is One Heck of an Optimist

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 …

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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 …

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What’s Blooming at the end of May?

Wild Ozark plants blooming at the end of May I took a little walkabout yesterday to photograph some of the flowers that are setting berries, blooming, or getting ready to bloom right now. Yesterday’s post highlighted the orchid I’d been waiting to see bloom. The ginseng pics were also added to the “Ginseng Habitat Through the …

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Talk about Delayed Gratification! (Twayblade Orchid)

I’ve been waiting a whole year to see this flower. When I first found the plant last summer there was only the two leaves. Without seeing a flower, it’s hard to positively identify a plant, unless that plant has something about the foliage (or some other distinguishing characteristic, like scent, bark pattern, or root appearance) …

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Ginseng in mid- to late May

Pictures of Ginseng in May I took a few pictures today for those of you wondering how the ginseng looks during mid- to late May. I’ll post a link to them over on the Ginseng Habitat Through the Seasons page, too. For those of you who enjoy nature drawings, I have one of ginseng in …

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A Woodland Habitat – Dragons among the Nettles and Cohosh

There’s a particular woodland habitat at the far corner of our property that I love. The variety of plants that grow there is amazing. It’s the perfect place for American ginseng, but those plants have nearly been extirpated by diggers foraging the hillsides of our area. It’s too far from the house for me to …

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Wild Ozark’s Monthly Newsletter -May 2015

Here’s one of my monthly newsletters that goes out to my subscribers. This one is from May 2015 and is all about challenges, new discoveries, and a brand new product from Wild Ozark. “Greatest” Challenge Are you often faced with challenging situations to figure yourself out of? It seems I get to encounter “greatest” challenges …

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What’s that plant good for?

“What’s that plant good for?” A curious thing I’m noticing by selling plants at the market is that people almost always have the same question, phrased in various ways. It’s often the first thing they ask, in general about any of the plants, when they first walk into the booth. It seems to be a …

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Large Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)

Sleuthing the Bellwort. Sessilifolia or Perfoliata?

Sessilifolia or Perfoliata? Three species of bellwort are found in Arkansas: Uvularia grandiflora, U. sessilifolia, and U. perfoliata. The one I see most often around here is the grandiflora, or Large-flowered bellwort as it’s commonly called. Bellwort in the Ginseng Habitat Bellwort often grows in the ginseng habitat, which makes it one of the ginseng …

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An Entourage of Green Ambassadors

Show and Tell I took my little assembly of show and tell items, and a small entourage consisting of three Green Ambassadors on the road yesterday. We, or at least *I*, had been invited to speak to the Olli Group at Bordino’s on Dickson St. in Fayetteville. At the time, they didn’t know about the ambassadors that …

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Solomon’s Seal Unfurling

Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) There’s a nice patch of Solomon Seal at the front of the driveway that was so choked out last summer that I don’t think any of them got a chance to bloom. I was afraid they might not come back after that. And I wasn’t sure exactly which spot it was where …

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Arnold’s First Rooster Crow

Arnold is a Fall chicken. He hatched from an egg, along with his three nestlings way back in October (I think). The clutch of eggs that had hatched shortly before his fell prey to a large black rat snake. You might remember my FB post about that. It takes about six months from hatch to …

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A goldenseal plant with red berry.

Sights and Sounds of Spring

The sounds of spring fills the night air now. Spring Peepers are calling! The only visible signs of spring so far as I can see are the bits of wild onion grass growing with a bit more spright than usual. And the chickweed is making my garden look like it already needs to be weeded. …

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