Monthly Archives: October 2012

Wild Walk: A Touch of Winter

Fiery Fall Leaves © 2012 Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

As the hours of daylight become blatantly shorter, the journey of seasons moves quickly towards the Great Sleep of Winter.   Despite the prolonged drought, Ozarkers everywhere enjoyed a most spectacular fall color display.  In all my years of living in the Ozarks, I can’t remember a fall as beautiful as this one.   But now that the Autumn show is over, the curtain is coming down in a torrent of swirling leaves and piling up in huge ankle-deep drifts that blanket the earth in gold.  And yet, the falling is far from over.   For even now, the leaves cling to the remnants of their arboreal lives – resisting their eventual future as rich dark humus and rattling their final farewells at the slightest breeze.

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Avoid GMO’s – Save Your Own Seed

By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

George Washington once said, “Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved.”   Of course, he was speaking of buying seed from someone who didn’t know how to save and store it properly and hence, an entire season of growing had been wasted waiting for a good crop that never came.   Back then (and for thousands of years before the founding of our country) anyone who farmed or grew their own food understood a thing or two about what good seed was.  Continue reading

Crawl into Fall: Cool Caterpillars

Unknown Caterpillar on Passionfruit Vine - Copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz
A Journey of Seasons

It is fall all over the place here in the Ozarks!  The sunburnt days of summer drought have been replaced by moisture-laden mists and golden afternoon sunlight – perfect for a long leisurely walk through the woods.  Sometimes I get lucky and run across one of the creative and colorful caterpillars of the Ozarks.

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Reflections and the Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse by Mike's Birds via Wikimedia CommonsBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz
A Journey of Seasons

This morning I was standing on the porch enjoying my morning coffee when I was suddenly struck by the unusual absence of any kind of sound or movement.  The trees didn’t sway and not a creature stirred.  Even the air stood still.  I was marveling at the odd and unnatural silence of the forest when suddenly a flurry of small, gregarious chickadees, titmice, juncos and nuthatches suddenly rained down upon the yard, filling the air with their busy chatter and my heart with a childish happiness.  Among the festive band of feathered friends were a large and noisy group of titmice.  These friendly, acrobatic birds seemed the busiest and most vocal of the group and my attention naturally turned to them.

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American Dittany: The Wild Oregano

American Dittany Copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fall in the Ozarks is a treasure trove of wild edibles. As the wild mushrooms spring up from the ground, hickory nuts, black walnuts and persimmons are beginning to fall from the trees.  Indeed, even a short walk through the woods can fill the forager’s basket with little effort.  Among the many wonderful edibles ready to harvest this fall, American Dittany is definitely one of my favorites.  This dainty perennial herb is often overlooked by many wild foragers and herbalists because of its small size.  But don’t let appearances fool you – Dittany is a powerful medicinal herb that doubles as a flavorful seasoning in the kitchen! Continue reading