Once the chores are done, Sandy and I love to share special times with our granddaughters. This past weekend was one of those times. We took four our granddaughters to participate in the St Joseph Arbor Day activities at the Missouri Department of Conservation regional office at Missouri Western State University. Our Guild participates, sharing information about the Guild activities; members display some of their projects, and the visiting public enjoys the Guild’s participation. In this photo is Cherie, recent past Guild President, proudly displaying her spectacular burl box:
I snapped this photo while past President Larry stepped away for a while; he makes beautiful boxes, for sale at craft shows: The Missouri Department of Conservation is said to be a leader in several areas. In my mind, one of the most important functions is in the education of our children. As a result, we try to expose our granddaughters to the activities of the Commission, including Arbor Day. Granddaughter #2, Sierra, enjoyed applying several stamps to a small branch sample:
The Department of Conservation also provides, at no charge to the public, a staggering amount of educational literature. For Arbor Day celebrations, this picnic table displays literature on diseases that could affect our local trees. It also serves as the distribution point for the tree seedlings that are given away to families every year, two per family ((Norway spruce, redbud, hazelnut, river birch, serviceberry, wild plum, flowering dogwood, black haw, aromatic sumac, ninebark and northern red oak):
Following our visit to the Department of Conservation, we traveled 50 miles to Lawson, Missouri. Located in the rolling hills of Northwest Missouri, Watkins Mill is the last fully equipped 19th century woolen mill in the United States. It is technically a part of the Watkins Mill State Park. Sandy and I strolled with the girls a short distance to the of Spring on the Farm festivities:
Below is last photo I was able to snap before the camera battery quit. Two of the farm hands are shearing a sheep using human-powered shears — the man in the hat is cranking the wheel that keeps the shears working (hard, hard work!), while three of our girls (in the bandannas from Arbor Day) watch the men:
To me this was a moving scene, as Sierra, the 10-year old, already spins wool and other fiber using a drop spindle. Later I watched her showing the 1870s-attired thread spinning interpreters how she uses the drop spindle, to the amazement of the interpreters.
My only regret: that the camera battery gave up on me as we started the Spring on the Farm tour. <grrrr…..>