Talking Turkey: Turkeys, Turkey Vultures, and Turkey Tail Mushroom

What is in a name The word “turkey” first was applied to the large ground-dwelling American bird in England in the 1550s because it was (mis)identified with a specie of guinea fowl that came from Spain by way of North Africa, which was at the time under the Ottoman (Turkish) empire. The name “turkey” stuck

Flower Power

July and August is a perfect time to gather flowers for food. There is an abundance of wild and garden edibles. Wake up your green salad with a splash of nutrients-rich color! Make a “Flower Petal Salad.” Walk around the lawn, garden and fields, collecting such flowers as bee balm, day lily, red clover, yellow

Those Wild Masked Bandits: Raccoon, Wood Frog, Common Yellowthroat

While there are those of us struggling to get used to wearing a mask in this summer heat, there are those of the woodlands and wetlands, those who live on the edges, who wear their masks 24/7, in all seasons, and in all kinds of weather. Now, you might ask, how do they manage? Well,

White Pine and Eastern Hemlock: Two Year-round Wild Edibles

A tale of two trees If you are in the need of citrus and are unable to obtain non-local fruit such as lemons and oranges, consider a different type of grocery store – the woods. Most conifers, cone bearing trees, are edible; specifically pines, spruce, and fir. The needle-like leaves can be steeped for tea,

Of Moose and Moosewood

I think the first time I ever saw a moose in Massachusetts was when my mom and I were heading out on one of our “run-away playdates.” It was back in April 2006. Mom had arrived from New Jersey. We packed up our gear, and headed east on Route 2 towards Cape Ann, our favorite

Winter Behavior of Living Slinkys and Sliders: Weasels, Otter, and Mink

Weasels, otter, and mink, oh my! The Mustelidae is a family that includes living slinkys and sliders: the long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), ermine or short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea), least weasel (Mustela nivalis), mink (Mustela vison), and river otter (Lutra canadensis). These slender, long-bodied, short-legged mammals have a distinct bounding track pattern, which can be punctuated,

Crows: Problem-solvers and Joy-finders of the Avian World

I eagerly admit that the America Crow (Corcus brachyrhynchos) is one of my most favorite birds. Lumped into the order Passeriformes with other songbirds, they form the Corvid (Corvidae) family in which they share with Ravens, Fish Crows, and Blue Jays in the Commonwealth. Crows are not only clever, they have demonstrated intelligence. They use

A Nutty Fall: Eating Acorns

Oaks have cycles as to when they produce acorns and this will turn out to be a mast year with loads of acorns falling from the trees. Interestingly enough, this is also looking like it’ll be a mast year for apples as I have been watching turkeys in the orchards consuming the drops, so get

Rosa Rugosa: Take Time to Smell and Eat the Roses

Ah, summer! As the days heat up delightful floral scents permeate the air. And some of the most delicious scents are coming from roses. My favorite is the beach rose (Rosa rugosa), a squat, deciduous shrub standing 3-6 feet tall, in the family Rosaceae, having dark green leaves, and flowers ranging in color from white

Forbidden Fruit

“Here, I pray all day long and with my whole body, for my limbs are a moving benediction to the Holy Wild.” ~ Danielle Dulsky, The Holy Wild It’s true. I bit into the forbidden fruit. I even dipped it in forbidden honey, fresh from the wild hive, outside the garden, but within tantalizing reach.