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Columns

The Adder’s Tongue: An unusual looking plant

It doesn’t look like a fern, and it really isn’t one, but it’s fern-like in some respects. Meet ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

The fanciful turkey tail fungus: nature’s recycler

“Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

There’s magic in the woods

The desire to foresee the future, improve one’s strength against enemies, expel evil spirits that may have caused ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Remembering Anne Mason Field and yellowroot

For many years, I hiked local trails with my friend Ann Mason Field. We followed the cycle of ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Groundnut: The plant with a crumpled red velvety blossom

I confess that I’m often overcome by the sheer number of yellow flowers that appear in late summer. ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

The oxeye daisy is a weed, but an interesting one

Wander around the edge of the woods near the office at Holliday Lake State Park, and you’ll likely ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Mountain Laurel is putting on an exuberant display

“…but the typical mountain laurel overshadows all, dominates the scene, defies descriptive effort, lays a hush on the ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Discovering the harbinger-of-spring

While there are plenty of interesting plants in our area, sometimes I like to go hiking in an ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

In search of the southern grape fern

I’ve always been fascinated by ferns. They’re old. So old that ancestors of modern ferns were here long ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Nature provides its own valentines

According to the calendar, it’s the shortest month, but, in reality, it never seems to end. February is ...

Columns

COLUMN — A walk in the woods

This time of the year, when the forest is a study in brown, beige and gray with a ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

It’s never too late for a walk in the woods

It’s the first week in December, and the weather is still pleasantly warm. Even so, I’m surprised at ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Bald cypresses are an atypical conifer

The bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) was first described in 1640, and ever since then writers have been impressed ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

A cool find on a hot day

Last summer I spent far too many hot, humid days mucking about in several swampy areas at Holliday ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Goldenrod provides late summer color

Several years ago, I went with a friend to a business luncheon where there was a beautiful floral ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Uschi goes on a trail walk at High Bridge

Hello, fellow wildflower lovers. It’s me Uschi. Several months ago, I went with my mom on a trail ...

THROUGH THE GARDEN GATE

Stalking the hoary yellow puccoon

Sometimes a plant just shows up in an unexpected location. Sometimes you walk by that location over and ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Incised fumewort is problematic

I went to Powhatan State Park last week, walked the usual trails and searched for Dutchman’s breeches, which ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Speedwell, a beautiful weed

Hiking in late winter or very early spring requires an open mind about the plants that can be ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Hiking can be a voyage of discovery

Spending time outside, whether gardening or hiking, is just plain good for you. Hiking and walking have been ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

New apps for field work

Not too many years ago, hiking meant carrying a heavy backpack filled with my favorite field guides – ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

The aftermath of finding a rare plant

A good part of last year was spent hiking with a list of plants that needed to be ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Torrey’s mountain mint: A rare find

It’s been so hot and dry that I decided Oct. 4 would be my last major hike before ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

A tale of persistence and what grows in the swamp

While mucking about in a swampy area at Holliday Lake State Park last month, I stumbled upon an ...

MOTHER NATURE'S GARDEN

Long-lobed arrowhead: An uncommon plant

In the early days of the commonwealth, the naming of rivers was arbitrary. Settlers along a particular waterway ...

Columns

The difference in buttonweed

It’s been so hot that my hikes have been reduced to half-hearted slogs up and down the back ...

Columns

Wood Betony: an interesting hemiparasite

There are some native plants that I just can’t keep straight in my head unless I see the ...

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