Progress Update 8/1/2017: Improved Search and Navigation

Thanks to Google we added a greatly improved search box to the website on the right sidebar. This uses Google’s Custom Search Engine, which is better than the WordPress default search engine which couldn’t quite deal with the dynamic content on our website. So searching should be a lot easier as long as Google does a good job indexing the website.

The right side bar content and navigation has been, to say it nicely, less than ideal. We have made a few improvements including a tighter listing of category buttons, an improved Facebook Follow button, and moved the Report Problem button to the bottom of the webpages.

Besides some of these search and navigation changes, we are continuing to import our backlog on photos from 2014 to 2017 and are adding new species and photos almost every day.

What’s Next

  • We will work to restore the “Find by flower color” option which was a very useful feature that was available on the old website.
  • We will put together a special section dedicated to foraging and wild edibles. That was a feature that was available on the old website and we hope to make it better than ever.
  • We will also put together a new special section dedicated to potential dangers of the wild such as deadly poisonous plants, poison ivy, etc…
  • A new section we will be looking forward to is recipes for wild edibles. (Such as pickled ramps, sauteed mushrooms, etc…) We will look to our audience to submit recipes and photos.
  • A new article on foraging in the local supermarkets.
  • And finally, we are going to work on producing some monthly reports that will help people know what to look for at any given time of the year.

There are also still a few minor bugs and formatting issues on the website that need to be resolved. We also want to make a few improvements to page layout to improve loading time as well as some additional navigation options. Simply put, we want the website to load faster and help you get to what you are looking easier.

What’s Happening Outside

We’ve had a dry spell for the past few days but now is an excellent time to go foraging for mushrooms. As long as we get some rain, you should be finding black trumpet and chanterelle mushrooms in abundance. I’ve already seen a few of them along the trails at Devil’s Den in Weston. Lots of other exciting mid-summer fungus as well.

This has been a particularly bad year for ticks unfortunately. Always remember to take precautions outdoors. ¬†Wear socks, long pants, and use insect repellent, preferably containing DEET 40% or more. Always do a thorough tick check after being in the woods. Always shower after hiking. Check your pets for ticks regularly. And learn the warning symptoms of a potential Lyme disease infection (bulls-eye rash, fever, neck and joint pain, headache) It’s no joke this year, be careful!

-Mike

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