Almanack Contributor Andrea Strout

A freelance writer living in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Andrea Strout is at work on a book of essays, many focused on the environment. She is chair of the Environmental Advisory Commission in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, and active with the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Climate Initiative in southeastern Pennsylvania. After a long absence, she recently returned to the Adirondacks, where she was pleased to add 11 species of fungi in a single day to her app’s observations log.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Small Earth Catalog

Eastern North American Destroying Angel

When he thinks I’m not looking, my husband indulges in a little eye-rolling. For the fourth or fifth time along this stretch, I stop, point, squat and aim my phone’s camera into some weedy roadside patch. He has only himself to blame. He’s the one who introduced me to my wildlife-identification app [Seek by iNaturalist], and our morning walks haven’t been the same. As my world has shrunk with the pandemic, so has my area of focus. My app is a fitting tool. I have found 141 plant species—and counting!—between our house and the turnaround point, a round trip of 2.2 miles. There’s always something new or transformed to look at, whether it’s the ephemerals in early spring, the berried possumhaw in winter, the swamp rose mallow in late summer or flowering snakeroot in fall.

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