Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Galax or Beetleweed

This is a picture I took this summer of a plant called galax. It is a perennial, and it is located throughout the southern Appalachians. It has basal leaves only, which can be as wide as 6 inches. It has rounded, heart-shaped leaves with small rounded teeth on its edges. The leaves are evergreen, shiny, and leathery. Here is a picture I find with the flower, which blooms in the spring.
The flowers have five regular parts and grow in this single spike, which can grow up to 24''.

I have had trouble finding uses for galax. One website said that it might be used for use in healing wounds, but there was no good source for that. If you find anything try to post it cause I'm curious.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Blog Changes

I just wanted to alert you to a few changes to the blog in case you haven't seen it in a while. I've labeled all of the previous posts, and encourage all future posts to labeled so users can search them by topic.

I've also added a few links on the right column, with more to come. One of the links is for a skills blog where I'll post skill photos, journal entries and things not directly related to the Georgetown program.


Friday, May 11, 2007

edible plants


so as i am practicing my IDs when is it safe to go ahead and use the plants as the book recommends? i have peterson's edibles, not newcombe's yet. i feel like newcombe's guide might give me a more positive identification...? yesterday i found some wild anise and some spicebush. when making tea from spicebush do you use the roots or the leaves or both?

has anyone else been playing in the woods? do you have a new appreciation for your environment at home?

have a nice weekend,


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Thorny nest at Oregon Ridge

Here are a couple pictures of a cool birds nest I found with eggs in it. It was about 6ft up in a shrub, surrounded by multiflora rose. The outer structure is made of dead multiflora twigs (with thorns), and the inner layer is primarily dried grasses and moss. The nest is 8-10 inches wide and about as tall. The eggs are sky blue with a slight hint of green and gray-brown speckles. The parents scolded me viciously.

Can you tell what bird made it?

Hint: This bird often sings late at night, and its not a Robin.



Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I was at Assateague last weekend and I got to see some different wildlife: Atlantic mussels that squeak as they shut, dolphins playing in the waves, red winged blackbirds with a spot of red and yellow, and sika deer. Small guys, darker than white-tails with light spots on either side of their backbones. I saw them foraging around for grasses at night and in the late afternoon. Apparently they were introduced to the Eastern Shore from Asia as pets. The ponies on the island mostly hung out in the marshes. I saw one rummaging through some kids cooler too. They didn't know what to do so just snook up behind it and took pictures. I studied a few tracks- various birds, deer, rabbits.
The weather was also an experience. Nice and calm all day with cirrus clouds, a transition to frontal system, rain in the evening which cleared up by 1 AM or so. Starting at about 5 AM we got pummeled with what I guess were 40 mph winds. The tent was flush against my face; and I was sleeping in the middle.
Assateague is a great spot, I recommend that y'all go out there.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

hello all,

it was a treat to hang with you all on that last weekend event. I learned a lot from working with you those couple of days.

I can't wait to work on some of the more advanced aspects of awareness and survival with some of you who will be around. I hope you can make it to the Oregon Ridge weekend.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Rock Creek Park

Claire and I biked over to Rock Creek park today. We just hung out and worked on some fox walking, wide angle vision, and a trap. The edible plants are really everywhere. We saw chickweed, greenbrier, bearberry?, and we're working on identifying some more. I chased after a deer (barefoot) and tracked it for a good ways until I came across it and four other deer. I tried not to look at them and used the wide angle vision. They got used to me after a while and I just sat down and chilled while they kind of walked around me. We definitely want to work on a shelter next semester that people can go up to whenever. Matt, maybe in the fall we could work on a spot to make some kind of larger shelter like the one Bill showed us.