Show Me Oz – Excerpted from the Introduction to my book, A Journey of Seasons: A Year in the Ozarks High Country
The Ozark “Mountains” are an anomaly – an island in a sea of plains, a bump in an otherwise flat road. When viewed from the air the folds and contours of the Ozarks resemble a human brain; an interesting comparison, since the Ozarks also represent one of the most ancient and diverse landscapes in North America. Among the unique and dizzying array of flora and fauna, caves, sinkholes, crystal clear springs and toe-numbing rivers is a rich and tangled history of human habitation.
Show Me Oz
As a gardener and lover of nature, I garden with butterflies and beneficial insects in mind. Yet, for all my efforts, the one North American butterfly that I have failed to lure to my garden is the bright and beautiful Monarch. For years I thought the failure was mine, but the truth is that these icons of the butterfly world are in dire straights and their numbers are spiraling dangerously downward. The good news is that there is something we can all do to help them – and all their colorful kin – to flourish once again.
Posted in Features, Nature Notes, Sustainable Solutions, Wild Walk
Tagged A Journey of Seasons, about, Asclepias, butterflies, butterflyweed, conservation, jill henderson, milkweed, monarch butterfly, nature, show me oz
By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –
Quite a few years back, on a beautiful fall day just like this one, a bit of unpleasant news filtered down through our village grapevine. Apparently, an elderly and well-known gentleman in our little community had been arrested for bootlegging moonshine. That the man in question made and sold corn whiskey was no secret to many in the surrounding area, for he had been doing it for the better part of his life and made little secret of it. Some of the first official reports claimed that this gentleman and his immediate family made and sold up to 9,000 gallons of moonshine each year. And while that may sound like a lot of ‘shine, it didn’t come as a surprise to me or to anyone else living within a 100 mile radius, because this fella had a reputation for making absolutely top-notch hooch and everyone who drank alcohol wanted a jar of their very own.
Posted in A Piece of Home, Features
Tagged A Journey of Seasons, bootlegging, history, jill henderson, law, missouri, moonshine, Moonshine in Missouri, ozarks, show me oz, whiskey
by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –
Fall is here and we finally got enough rain to kick off the fall mushroom season. Among the many foragable fungi available in the fall, my favorite are coral mushrooms. Not only are corals super easy to identify, even for the novice mushroom hunter, but they are downright beautiful and oh, so good to eat.
Posted in Nature Notes, Wild Walk
Tagged A Journey of Seasons, Artomyces pyxidatus, coral mushroom, Crown-Tipped Coral, food forest, foraging, jill henderson, mushrooms, show me oz, wild edible
The continuation of a short story about our beloved lab, Buck, whose life was much too short. Continued from Part One:
He had around his neck a dirty old blue bandana that had been folded up like a collar and tied on when he was but a pup. That bandana was like an announcement that clearly said he belonged to someone. Probably one of the local Salish families here on the Rez. But whoever it was hadn’t noticed, or cared, that the puppy they’d strapped that thing to was not a puppy any more and now the damn thing was nearly choking him to death. It’s a wonder he could even swallow; that thing was so tight around there. Kinda irked me to see it, but he wasn’t yet sure of me and I thought twice about pissing off the wrong person. Continue reading
by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –
There is nothing quite as enchanting as a chance encounter with a wild patch of flowering monarda. The electric colors of their shaggy, upright flowers light up the shady places they prefer; dazzling the unprepared eye. Once familiar with the sweet oregano-like scent of this delicately delectable herb one can often smell a colony of monarda long before seeing it. And if the scent doesn’t give it away, the sound of buzzing bees will.