We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
An experienced outdoorsman can identify most of the plants and trees in the areas with which he is familar - but not so much elsewhere. Like learning languages, though, he can learn a new area quickly because he has woods-sense based on the types of habitats he already knows.
An experienced outdoorsman can also predict what birds and critters are likely to be found in a given habitat. Woods-sense is one of the few talents I have. I like to attribute it to my Iroquois blood.
Photo: An Alder thicket - a common lowland and streamside habitat in the northern US. I have busted my way through more of these nearly-impenetrable things than I can count. The branches pull your hat off constantly, and sometimes you feel like you are in jail, with no exit. And if you try to raise your gun for a Grouse or Woodcock, there's always a branch to stop you. Good stuff.
It's sort-of cool, but it is soul-less and not woodcraft.
Granted, I am not an expert, but my understanding of the issue of classic linnaean taxonomy versus DNA analysis is that DNA analysis has pretty well confirmed the linnaean classification schema- which is cool for those to whom classification is important.
One aspect of common species names from the part of the NE where I grew up is that there is a plant green all winter that I knew as "creeping jenny." I have not seen Google pictures of "creeping jenny" that correspond to the plant I knew as "creeping jenny."
I used to love to run and play in the woods when I was 8 or so... then came allergies to the poison families (ivy, oak, sumac) the drumbeat of mosquito born illnesses, ticks and lyme disease, and a penchant for attracting chiggers by the gross. I tend to avoid woods these days and figured if I'm going out, its to the desert and play in my 4x4 on the rocks. Only thing there are broken legs and twisted ankles, snakes, scorpions, and tarantulas.