The illusive rows of ghostly flowers are actually a fungus feeding on fungi that’s feeding on tree roots. They’re epiparasites, or parasites sourcing nutrients from other parasites.
Eastern Native American tribes once used ghost pipe as an anticonvulsive and painkiller.
Our classroom aloe introduces medicinal plants. “The Medicine Plant,” as they call it, saves many a trip to the clinic for minor scrapes. The cool, curious gel from a plant in the window cures instantly. Continue reading
The trail beyond the saw palmetto leads to a secret skate spot we frequented as kids called the “Indy Wall.”
It’s an old concrete drainage ditch with seven foot banks and a tight four feet of flat bottom.
Now long faded, the first piece of graffiti was a large Independent Truck Company symbol on the far wall.
With two skateparks in the county, once treasured spots like these are now mostly neglected.
Crooked River State Park
I knew a girl who spent the first few years of her life on Cumberland Island among the dunes and mangle of maritime forest. On our first visit to the island together, she showed me how to eat saw palmetto. Grab ahold of the center-most spike of a young plant and give it a tug. The soft, lower few inches taste a bit like heart of palm.
The USS George Bancroft is a decommissioned nuclear submarine now half-submerged in front of the main (Franklin) gate of Kings Bay Naval Base. At the age of eleven, I begged my dad one day to let me join a raucous group of Greenpeace activists and Hare Krishnas in the same spot. Today children climb on the US monument to mass murder.
These photos were taken on the banks of the Rio Magico (Magic River), in Valle del Elqui, Peru. According to Robert Kirshner, a professor of science at Harvard University, “Chile has as good a claim as any place to be the center of the astronomical universe.” The Elqui Valley is the center of the earth’s gravitational force, and is said to have healing powers. I have never seen the night sky so clear.