Our good friends over at Frog Holler Farm are hosting Holler Fest this weekend - a three-day music festival featuring some terrific local artists - and the whole neighborhood is gearing up. From peach cobblers, to pounding nails for the stage background, building an outdoor shower, to making signs, it's all beginning to come together. We're pretty excited about it!
Nearly a month ago or so while weeding one of the patches we talked about the festival while we worked. We brainstormed ideas for workshops that might be of interest to folks wanting to take a break from the music or entertain their kids. Face painting, bubble wands, and a drumming circle were all mentioned. I suggested a nature walk where plants and trees were labeled so folks could either guide themselves or be guided at set times.
Well, I've walked the trails a few times to choose what's most interesting. The woods and rolling hills that comprise the farm in part present a stunning variety and beauty. I swear something new blooms or sprouts every time I go by. Oaks and hickories abound - full of acorns and nuts that a primal urge makes me pocket - along with a bevy of native grasses and flowers. And there's poison ivy, a little bit of ragweed, and a few invasives that folks should know about, too. Mostly, though, it's a grand show and this is close to the best time of year to see it. (No offense to those spring ephemeral fans!)
It's been great fun trying to figure out exactly which goldenrod is in front of me or exactly which kind of oak. (There's one tree/shrub that is still giving me a bit of trouble, but I'll find out eventually.) I am certainly no expert, and anticipate that folks in attendance will share their knowledge with me as they go along; however, I feel like I've learned so much. My good friend Sybil lent both her time and a portion of her library to this endeavor, and that has just been great. I felt a bit geeky out there in my socks, sandals, and silly bandanna poring over the Peterson guide, then the plant, then the guide, then the plant, and talking to myself the whole while! But it is so much fun!