I recognize the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Pawnee, Omaha, Otoe-Missouria, and Osage Peoples on which I am living and learning today. I honor all the ancestral stewards of this land and their descendants by being a responsible steward of the land. I honor all the non-human People who also inhabit this land by showing respect, reverence, and reciprocity. This acknowledgement in no way absolves me of the responsibility to take actions towards decolonization.
Hello, I am Denise Wally. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am a student in the UAF Ethnobotany program. My botanical journey started over 50 years ago when my mother started teaching me about plants for food, for art (dyeing and other uses), a few for medicine, and for beauty. I was always a very curious, by nature, and that hasn’t changed. In college I started out in aerospace/mechanical engineering, which was interesting but didn’t excite me, so I changed to forestry and found my calling. I retired in January of 2022 from a wonderful career in natural resources/forest ecology and immediately began my journey into ethnobotany, that I have wanted to pursue for many decades.
I love to forage (especially for edible mushrooms), garden, wildcraft, and just be in natural places. I have too many favorite plants to name them all, but a few of my top ones are trees (except for invasive non-natives, which are fine in their native place), common milkweed, ferns, iris, sweetgrass, woodland understory plants (trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, mayflower, bloodroot, etc), and a new favorite, fireweed (which I experienced for the first time last summer during EBOT 100 in Bethel). The plant I have the most respect for is devil’s club! That is a plant that commands respect.
I have already seen a post by a classmate from EBOT 100, and I hope to see others from the EBOT and EMYCO classes I have taken. I am also eager to meet those who I have not yet crossed paths with. Connecting with plant (and fungi) people is such a blessing and a joy!
Added June 26, 2023
Photo of me from underneath a cracked cap polypore (Phellinus robiniea, though it may already have a new official Genus). Photo of a very dark pink common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca , taken last summer at Prairie Pines Nature Preserve outside Lincoln, NE.