The Notebook

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8 October 2020Burdock is an introduced plant to North America from its native Eurasia. A Swiss hiker invented Velcro (from the French velour for velvet and crochet for hook) after removing the burrs from his dog after a hike in the woods. More here

Burdock burrs appear at the end of the second year of the biennial plant


17 September 2020 – Rock Tripe is an edible lichen that has served as an emergency source of nutrition in extreme arctic environments. Read more

Rock Tripe on a Silurian sandstone outcrop in western Virginia







1 September 2020 – The Snapping Turtle is nothing to fear unless you have chelonaphobia – or perhaps if you are a University of Maryland fan – more here

Snapping Turtle West Virginia 200716
Snapping Turtles cross roads to get to nesting sites, like this one in western Virginia

3 August 2020 – The Compleat Ambler

Published July 2020 by William Needham. A supplement to Hiker’s Notebook as a guidebook for how to enjoy walking in the woods and what it can do for you. Available in bookstores Details here

Compleat Ambler Cover









24 July 2020 – Walkingstick, an ent in the making. Twig insects epitomize evolution. More here

The brown twig-like walkingstick can only be easily seen silhouetted against a green leaf, where it is precariously perched with its legs splayed.









3 July 2020  – Inky cap mushrooms are different – from shaggy manes to mica caps. More here

Coprinus comatus shaggy mane Pyrenees 1509110
Coprinus comatus is also called  lawyer’s wig and shaggy mane








21 June 2020 – The first day of summer and the last day of spring – Trillium is its epitome.  A striking lily with three petals and three leaves that are not really petals and leaves. And it isn’t even a lily anymore. The rest of the trilliums (trillia?) and details here

Trillium grandiflora has an imposing white blossom that turns shocking pink









1 June 2020 – The Northern Water Snake is one of the most common, and most commonly mistaken snakes. It is not a water moccasin. For more details, click here

Northern Water Snake2 White Oak Canyon 160824
Northern water snake (or perhaps a copperhead)








Contact Information:           William Needham – Needham82@aol.