Little Discoveries BIG Fun!

 

A couple of weeks ago, one night, I discovered an adorable little toad at my front door step. He didn’t seem to mind being in the limelight as I took his photograph. Haven’t seen him now that the weather has turned cooler, but I did notice some interesting looking fungi and flora during a recent walk on a nearby nature path. Every day I go outside I feel like a kid in a candy store. There’s so much to discover and learn about the local natives here in the Ouachitas!
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IT’S A BEAUTY BERRY-FUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD!

This native plant is an absolute beauty! I discovered it for the first time several weeks ago while walking my little dog in our new neighborhood. I don't recall seeing such a brilliant hue like this on a plant before. I had to know what it was. I did some research on the internet (where else?) and found that the berries are edible for birds and humans alike, although they are as tasty in the raw. I found many jelly recipes which I definitely want to try for myself. It makes such a 'pretty' jelly, and from what I read, it tastes delicious too. The leaves reportedly act as a mosquito deterrent if you rub them on your skin. I haven't tried this trick yet, but will definitely give it a try. Thankfully, the mosquitos aren't very numerous here, but just one mosquito bite can really make me welt up. If I find a good and do-able recipe that turns out good, I'll be sure to post it. Or maybe someone out there has already tried it? Would love to know! Now that I'm settled into my new home I want to learn about the native plants in this area. This should be a fun adventure of exploration!
Callicarpa Americana (American Beautyberry)

I took a snapshot of this dazzling Beautyberry plant during my walk with the Hubby and Puppy near our home today.

This native plant is an absolute beauty! I discovered it for the first time several weeks ago while walking my little dog in our new neighborhood. I don’t recall seeing such a brilliant hue like this on a plant before. I had to know what it was. I did some research on the internet (where else?) and found that the berries are edible for birds and humans alike, although they aren’t all that tasty in the raw. I found that the berries can be made into a delicious jelly, and even wine. I definitely want to try making the jelly. It makes such a ‘pretty’ jelly, and from what I read, it tastes delicious too. The leaves reportedly act as a mosquito deterrent if you rub them on your skin. I haven’t tried this trick yet, but will definitely give it a try. Thankfully, the mosquitos aren’t very numerous here, but just one mosquito bite can really make me welt up. If I find a good and do-able recipe that turns out good, I’ll be sure to post it. Or maybe someone out there has already tried it? Would love to know! Now that I’m settled into my new home I want to learn about the native plants in this area. This should be a fun adventure of exploration!