Monthly Archives: April 2012

Herbal Tea: Just Plain Good

2014 12-7 Tea (3)By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Mention the word tea, and most thoughts turn to a strong hot cup of Earl Gray or a tall glass of sweet iced pekoe. But these days tea is more than black—it is green, or herbal, or something akin to hot chocolate. Regardless of how you have thought of it in the past, one thing is certain: tea is medicinal.  And now, with the spring season swinging into early summer, many of the kitchen herbs in my garden are rapidly reaching their flowering stage.  Of course, leafy herbs are at their  peak of perfection just as the flowers begin to open, but I like to allow a few stems to bloom, as well.  The flowers of most herbs are not only flavorful when used fresh or dried, but they also can have medicinal properties themselves and are excellent additions to many herbal tea blends. Continue reading

Notes from Turtle Ridge – April 2012

2012 4-4 Box Turtle Hatchling (2)smBy Jill Henderson

This week’s article is the  first in a new series  I’m calling Notes from Turtle Ridge.  This series is definitely more personal and less academic than my regular weekly column, but hopefully, just as informative and entertaining.

Hanging Out With Spiders

Spider Hammock by Sara FirmanJill Henderson

Anyone who lives in or visits the Ozarks invariably notices that we have a lot of spiders.  They’re  in our gardens, fields, meadows, pastures and woodlands; and sometimes, they’re even in our homes.  Love them or hate them, life in the Ozarks just wouldn’t be the same without  a few wispy strands of spider silk brushing across your face on a woodland walk or the sight of a dewy meadow strung with thousands of glistening hammock-like webs strung by the Sheet-web spider (Linyphiidae).  Of course,  living in Missouri provides plenty of opportunities to encounter and learn about at least a few of the 300 species of spiders that call the Ozarks home.

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Wrens, Tree Frogs and Rain Gardens

Carolina Wren - Dan Pancamo - Wikimedia CommonsHere in our little slice of Ozarks heaven, we are most fortunate to be granted the privilege of greeting every new day with a lyrical symphony of sound that has the ability take our breath away.  Yet, there are those rare occasions when the sweet symphony becomes more like a raucous cat fight.  Take the Carolina wren for example. Earlier in the week I spotted a male wren among the brushy edges of the woods, bobbing and flicking his tail up and down.  I’ve always found wrens interesting enough, but to be honest, they never really made any enduring impression on me – just a nice little brown bird that flicks its tail a lot.   I would soon be proven wrong. Continue reading