Quiz #116: Natural Mystery

Identify the following natural mystery. (Photographed in Biddeford, ME on August 23, 2014.)

Photo of Quiz #116: Natural Mystery

I’ll reveal the answer on Monday. For now, leave your guess in the comments below.

Every Friday, I invite you to support Josh’s Journal by sharing this or any other post with friends, by sending me your feedback, or by making a donation. Thank you for reading!

New Moon Challenge: Digital Detox

Photo of American Crow flock

Yesterday’s New Moon marked the start of my Digital Detox Moon Challenge. Here are my self-imposed rules for the challenge:

Days one through five: No e-mail checking, website editing, or internet surfing. In fact, no at-home computer use. I rarely watch television, use a cell phone, or listen to the radio, but I’ll be sure to abstain from these activities, too.

Day six until New Moon: Rather than using the computer in multiple small doses throughout the day, I’ll check e-mail and update my website in “batches.” I’ll likely limit computer time to no more than one hour in the morning and a half hour in the early evening.

Have you ever digitally detoxified?

Note: My next post is written and scheduled for Friday.

Edible Mushrooms: Black Trumpet

Photo of Black Trumpet mushrooms

This summer I had the good fortune of gathering Black Trumpets (Craterellus cornucopioides) in the company of several fungi-loving friends. One of my friends, who had been scouting several forested spots for weeks, led our group directly to several lush patches, where we were able to quickly fill our foraging baskets with these fragrant fungi. Black Trumpets are easy to recognize but can be difficult to find as their color often blends well with leaf litter on the forest floor, so hunting with an experienced “Trumpeter” can be very helpful. Continue reading

Quiz #115: Fungus

Identify this forest floor fungus. (Photographed in Wells, ME on August 9, 2014.)

Photo of Quiz #115: Fungus

Click here for the answer.

Every Friday, I invite you to support Josh’s Journal by sharing this or any other post with friends, by sending me your feedback, or by making a donation. Thank you for reading!

Josh’s Foraging Tip #6

Borrow or Buy a Book

If, like me, you didn’t grow up surrounded by foragers, eating wild food at every meal, you may be hesitant to start nibbling the landscape. Maybe you’ve dabbled with some easy to recognize edibles like Red Raspberry and Highbush Blueberry, but you’re needing some assistance before dipping more than your toes into the ocean of wild foods. Luckily, there are experienced foragers who’ve written excellent books that you can borrow from a library or friend or purchase to serve as in-home foraging mentors.

Wisconsin forager Samuel Thayer is the author of The Forager’s Harvest (2006) and Nature’s Garden (2010). Each book is subtitled A guide to identifying, harvesting, and preparing edible wild plants and covers over 30 species, most but not all of which are present in New England. Thayer spends a great deal of time in fields and forests gathering the foods he writes about, and his books are filled with tested techniques for increasing your foraging success. I give these two books my highest recommendation. Continue reading