Monthly Archives: December 2012

Hazelnuts


The holiday season is upon us again and familiar goodies abound on store shelves. Mixed nuts have always been a favorite of mine ever since I was a kid. I always enjoyed cracking them and extracting the sweet meat. Pecans, … Continue reading

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Beautyberry


Take a walk on the edge of the woods in the fall, particularly near an old cemetery or abandoned landscape. Your eyes will likely zone in on some iridescent purple to magenta berries. They encircle the stems in clusters and … Continue reading

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Appalachian Christmas


Sometimes our fondest memories are simple things that didn’t cost much. I know they are for me, because Christmas doesn’t come from a store. My wife is from rural West Virginia. Her parents were tenant farmers, meaning they worked long … Continue reading

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Mistletoe


Christmas is getting closer and bunches of mistletoe again adorn doorways. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is one that originated with the Druids. A white berry-like fruit is removed after each kiss. When all are gone kissing is … Continue reading

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Witch hazel


I was out for a drive after Hurricane Sandy and noticed the storm had speeded up the leaf drop a little. Because of that I was able to see some of the most interesting late fall flowers in the landscape. … Continue reading

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Don’t trust the birds


Recently I’ve written about some obscure brightly colored fruits many think are poisonous. Beautyberries and firethorn are edible and birds love both. Don’t let the latter fool you, because you can’t trust the birds. Now that leaves are beginning to … Continue reading

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Nutria


I’ve heard them called muskrats on steroids. They’re the kudzu of the animal world, an uncontrollable pest introduced from South America. These semi-aquatic rodents can grow to 30 pounds. In the process they eat a lot of vegetation. Many introduced … Continue reading

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