Fall: The Perfect Time for Hiking

Fall: The Perfect Time for a Hike

Is there a more invigorating time of year than fall? The crisp air, sunny skies, and vibrant colors just beg you to come out and play.

A new hiking trail, built by the Countryside Conservancy, just opened in our area. Called The Trolley Trail, it runs approximately 3 miles from Clarks Summit, to Dalton, PA. The trail runs along an old trolley line and the plan is to extend it for 14 miles.Continue Reading

Cobwebs in My Head

A nature walk is a balm to my spirit and a great way to clear the cobwebs out of my head. What ways have you found to deal with depression?

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;  or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12: 7 – 10

Sometimes I Just Need Out

The older I get, the more of a hermit I’m becoming.  My life lately has been pretty confined to my garden and my kitchen. Harvesting, cooking, preserving. Repeat.Continue Reading

Foraging: Nutritious Sumac Lemonade

Foraging for Nutritious Sumac - use it to make lemonade high in vitamin c

Foraging can be a fun way to add nutrients to your table – for free! Staghorn Sumac is super easy to identify and a cinch to harvest. And it’s just as simple to make a delicious beverage with it, also known as Indian Lemonade. Native Americans also made a cough syrup with Sumac, and gargled with it to ease a sour throat (source).Continue Reading

A Walk in the Woods

I had the pleasant opportunity to take a walk recently along a mountain ridge. The area had many rock formations with dry, shallow soil. Here’s a little of what I saw growing in these harsh conditions. I was reminded that even when life is difficult, or my spirit is dry, God surprises me with beauty.

Wood Strawberry - related to the Wild Strawberry but has a yellow flower; the berry is not as sweet as the Wild Strawberry.

Appalachian Sandwort - this plant is only found in a few of Pennsylvania's counties and is considered endangered here.

Low-bush Blueberry - it will be a few more weeks before the berries are ripe and sweet.

Greenbrier - this prickly, woody vine provides cover for small wildlife.

Greenbrier Thorns - when these plants form a thicket, they are difficult to pass through.

One of the many lichens on the mountain.

A few more types of lichen growing on rocks. A lichen is a composite of fungus and algae.

Sweet Fern - named for its aromatic leaves. Sweet Fern is nitrogen fixing allowing it to grow in infertile soil.

Wild Rosa Rogusa - a beautiful surprise among the rocks.

Since this wasn't in bloom, I'm unsure if it's Solomon's Seal, or False Solomon's Seal. The plants are closely related.

Hickory Nuts - I think. Do Hickory Nuts trees have catkins?

Can you help? I'm inclined to say this is Wild Radish.