Purple Deadnettle in Winter.


Purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) is a plant that seems to cause a lot of confusion. Not sure if it is because it has the word “nettle” in it’s name, but it is actually in the mint family, or if it is because it can resemble several other plants. Either way, one thing that seems to confuse people is the color of the leaves. Many people notice it in spring, when it’s leaves are reddish and quite distinctive, and assume that it is only around in spring. Actually the plant emerges in the fall, with green leaves, and remains green until it is about to go to flower. Here is a shirt video I made about it.




Christmas Oyster Mushrooms!


Had a wonderful Christmas today. Spent time with my family, got some good books on birds, tracking, and flint knapping, and also received a nice gift from the woods.

This warm rainy weather is great for winter mushrooms, so I headed out to look for some oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus). I made a big loop through the woods behind the cabin we are renting, wandering here and there, climbing over and under fallen trees, and pushing my way through thorny rose bushes. I saw a ton of beautiful mushrooms of various shapes and colors, but no Oyster mushrooms. Finally, I decided to head home. Just as I reached the edge of the woods, with home in sight, I saw several large clusters growing on a downed tree. I checked them out, double checked to make sure that they were what I already knew they were, and harvested a few clusters. I could have taken about 3 times as many, but I like to harvest moderately, leaving some behind for someone or something else, or to spread spores for the future.


Thanks for reading,