My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!


Witch-hazel leaves & flowers

Witch-hazel is my favorite tree for many reasons. . . . It has always been a topic of discussion on if it is either a tree or a shrub?? My personal feeling is that this is more of a tree than a shrub but that is just my personal thought (no science behind that statement). I also love that this trees leaf is odd shaped and has some unique flowers. I can always find this tree flowering around mid October which I think is an excellent time of the year!! The greatest part of Witch-hazel is that people can extract an astringent from the bark and leaves that is used for things like; a hemorrhoid medication, shaving lotion, bug bites, acne cream and even helps with poison ivy!

Witch-hazel Flower
Macro of the flowers!

Last year while the Witch-hazel was flowering and buffalo was being hammered with a freak snowstorm . . . I was helping with a flickr event here in Allegany. I was very jealous because Young Naturalist J was at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute listening to David Sibley speak.

David Sibley and young naturalist J
David Sibley signing Young Naturalist J’s field guide.

He heard the lecture, got his book autographed, got an original Sibley bird sketched in his book and had a great 1 on 1 discussion together; Young Naturalist J (and his family) also got me an autographed Sibley calendar as a perfect Christmas present!! The kid is good because look what he had David Sibley put on that calendar!!

Happy Birthday

OWL UPDATE: Thursday night I caught 1 Northern Saw-whet Owl and last night (Friday) I caught 2 Northern Saw-whet Owls. Things are really starting to pick up with these fluff balls.

18 responses

  1. Happy birthday! That is such a cool gift! What a great kid!

    Witch Hazel is such a cool plant. The astringent is also good for treating “hot spots” on dogs! 🙂


    13 October 2007 at 9:37 am

  2. Happy birthday! I have to say, I wish I was back in Allegany with you this weekend celebrating your birthday around a campfire. Hope this next year brings you all the best…

    13 October 2007 at 9:46 am

  3. I love witch hazel, too! That is an awesome thing J did for you! And Happy Birthday, yet again!

    13 October 2007 at 10:13 am

  4. @ Liz – thanks and didn’t know about the spots on dogs!
    @ Jeremy – I know your busy but you are always welcome to come over banding Saw-whets! Thanks!
    @ Pam – thanks and did you notice you commented on 10:13am!!

    13 October 2007 at 10:47 am

  5. Happy Birthday! I hope you see lots of Saw-whets today!

    13 October 2007 at 11:25 am

  6. Wow! Happy Birthday, you and Spaz share the same birthday!!
    I also love witch hazel, going for a walk soon, maybe I’ll see some.

    13 October 2007 at 12:48 pm

  7. LOB

    Happy Birthday Tom! Hope you have a great day and a super year.
    It’s my son’s 40th BD today – I’ll never forget your BD again!
    Wishing you lots of Witch Hazel and as many “fluff balls” as you can handle. Keep up the good work.

    13 October 2007 at 1:48 pm

  8. Kaz

    I’ve been meaning to ask what you’re shooting with in regards to body/lens. Your shots are always well composed and tack sharp. Inquiring minds want to know the details!

    13 October 2007 at 2:32 pm

  9. Does Witch-hazel have a strong aroma? I think I saw a garden show featuring Witch-hazel last year.

    So glad the little fluff balls are showing up for you.

    I took my niece to the bird banding at PI this morning.
    We had a good show of birds so you know what my next post will be.

    13 October 2007 at 2:43 pm

  10. Happy Birthday Tom! We have an old Witch Hazel factory in CT. I remember having that stuff around the house when I was a kid.Our field trip leader was just talking about Witch Hazel flowers today.-I had no clue what the stuff looked like.

    13 October 2007 at 3:43 pm

  11. @ Barb – thanks and I also hope to get many!
    @ Chicago – thanks and how cool!
    @ LOB – thanks and didn’t know your son’s birthday is today also! Very cool!
    @ Kaz – 75% of my pictures on this blog are taken with my point and shoot (Sony Cybershot) and the other 25% are taken with my Nikon D70s.
    @ Toni – Hmm, not that I have noticed. Can’t wait to see what you ended up finding at the banding station.
    @ Larry – thanks and it is a great product. Glad you found some flowers around where you were at.

    13 October 2007 at 6:06 pm

  12. Tom, Happy Birthday dude! I’ve been gone all afternoon and I am just checking your site, wow I can’t believe you and C.j. have the same birthday, too cool. I hope you are having a great evening. And I hope that a thousand wishes may come true for you. ~nita~

    13 October 2007 at 7:41 pm

  13. Michael Head

    Noreen and I hope you have a great year Tom! Happy Birthday.

    Where in teh park do you find teh Witch haxel I would like to see some. Also I can attest to it great work as an after shave.

    13 October 2007 at 11:25 pm

  14. @ Nita – thanks and that is very ironic for sure! Thanks my friend!
    @ Mike – thanks and it is more common than you might think! This picture was taken on Eastwood Meadows hiking trial!

    14 October 2007 at 11:43 am

  15. OMG Tom, LOL on the 10:13 am! I couldn’t have done that on purpose if I tried!!

    14 October 2007 at 9:33 pm

  16. I grow two different types of Witch Hazel in my backyard! I too enjoy this “Tree/shrub”.
    Happy Birthday. May you have a birdful year.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your photography. Coming to your site is enjoyable and I always learn something…

    15 October 2007 at 10:44 am

  17. That’s a great kid – I’m not sure which I’m more jealous of: the calendar or catching those saw-whet owls!!

    15 October 2007 at 12:55 pm

  18. @ Pam – I found that very cool for sure!
    @ Sherry – how great and thanks! Glad you learn something here!!
    @ Marty – I get to use the calendar all year and only a few months I get to see the saw-whets!

    15 October 2007 at 5:07 pm

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