By Kenny Slocum
Clayton County Naturalist
In a previous life, I had a limited understanding of Iowa’s fascinating ecology. Mostly, my “identification” skills were limited to plants that stung or itched—and various scars would indicate my skills were lacking. Occasionally, I could recognize a delicious berry—a mulberry or blackberry if the timing was right—but generally I observed the wisdom of my mother who insisted I avoid putting unidentified things in my mouth.