Sunday, October 28, 2012

What the Economic Crisis Really Means

"Doing It Ourselves aims to broaden understanding of the debt crisis and peak resources and encourage action for the sake of personal preparedness, happiness and ethical living. This animation sums up the key challenges facing our global society of credit crisis and resource scarcity and describes a path we can take to a happier life, now and in the future!"

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Fungus Among Us

I recently became a member of the Field Botanists of Ontario and was able to attend my first field trip on the Thanksgiving long weekend. All about mushrooms and other fungi, I knew it was something my dad would be interested in, so I invited him to join me. It was a great, information packed day and I was so happy to share it with my dad.

The full day workshop was led by naturalist and mushroom expert Richard Aaron, on the grounds of the Koffler Scientific Reserve north of Toronto. The day was divided up into outdoor time, walking through the woods gathering specimens and indoor class time.
I thought these Eyelash Cups were adorable!

Turkey tails are really prolific,  fairly easy to ID and used medicinally, especially in treating breast cancer.
We found a lot of different waxy caps.
And polypores.
After we gathered our specimens we spent the afternoon in class discussing our finds.
We organised our finds into gilled mushrooms, polypores and others like coral, cup and jelly fungi and slime moulds.
I thought this Amanita frostiana was beautiful.
Various, cool looking jelly fungi.
More waxy caps.
An old, dried up specimen of bird's nest fungus.
When collecting specimens it's important to gather the whole mushroom and at least make note of the substrate (what the mushroom is growing on). It can greatly help with ID if you know the mushroom was growing on hardwood for example, can see some of the mycelium or remnants of a universal veil.
I really enjoyed this workshop and came away feeling more knowledgeable about mushrooms and even more in awe of amazing and mysterious fungi!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I heart Doug Elliott

One of my favourite classes at the herbal resurgence conference was the walk with Doug Elliott. Naturalist, herbalist and storyteller among many other things, I've been a real big fan of his for a while now and was happy to have a chance to tell him so when I purchased his beautiful book, Wild Roots: A Forager's Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Roots, Tubers, Corms, and Rhizomes of North America. His gentle and humble ways, corny sense of humour and down home stories accompanied by harmonica belies the unbelievably deep and incredibly rich wisdom Doug has of the natural world, that comes from devoting one's whole existence to become at one with nature.

Covering three miles with Doug is to see more of the world than walking for years by yourself.

Watch this delightful video to learn a little more about Doug and his way of life.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flutterby Oh My!

The ADG and I set aside some time yesterday afternoon to visit the annual butterfly show at the greenhouses on the Carleton Campus. The exhibit features 41 species and over a thousand butterflies that flit and flutter amidst tropical greenery and lush flowering plants. It's a wonderfully exotic and colourful display that's just perfect for cool, overcast fall days. If you're in town this holiday weekend, the exhibit runs daily until Monday from 9am to 4pm. More info here.