Hot Point Contra Dance Band, and E danced every dance, alternating between ma and pa for partners. Before the band struck up, she and Pa tried their hand at the Atlatl, an ancient hunting tool (from the Upper Paleolithic, says wikipedia) that I remember from my anthropology days. COOL!
Dancing with Mary, the Nelsonville librarian (behind E)
Dancing with her Paw Paw
Today I got to have my own adventure. I joined Rebecca Wood and Paul Strauss, local plant savers and herbalists, for a "medicinal plant walk" through the nearby woods. Well, truth be told, we barely made it into the woods, there was so much to see in the meadow along the way (broadleaf and lance plantain, dandelions, violet leaves, sorrel, cardinal flower (a kind of lobelia), asters, dogwood tree, red or slippery elm, tulip poplar, poison ivy, jewelweed, black raspberry, grape, boneset, white pine), but we did explore a bit, finding walnut, sassafrass, basswood, white oak, ginseng, goldenseal, and of course pawpaw. There are quite a few I'm forgetting, I'm sure, but it was a truly spiritual experience for me, to be introduced again to so many plants I've seen for years, and by folks so knowledgeable about them and what they do for us. Paul Strauss is a total eco-hound. He is the guardian of a botanical sanctuary and founder of Equinox Botanicals, and he kept stressing that the only way we breathe is because we have trees!! Our air would be so polluted without the trees, we would just not last. They also emphasized that we are lucky to be living in an herbal gloryland here in the Ohio River Valley, a concentration of medicinal and edible plants unlike anywhere else.
The rest of the day kind of paled for me, as I wilted in the sun, but the girls had a blast, jumping in the jumpy castle and riding in a wagon pulled by two large and beautiful black horses. We had to go twice we liked it so much...
Ani mugging with kindred spirit, Olivia