Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekend surprises

This past weekend, my MIL was in town. We had two surprises: one was a very small fiber festival at the Southern Highland Craft Guild off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the other was a gorgeous hike full of spring color and amazing wildflowers.

The fiber festival was, as I said, small, but a lot of fun. We watched an expert sheep-shearing (my basis for calling it expert was how well the shearer handled the sheep, holding it between his legs, moving its legs around his in order to expose the parts to shear next, the whole fleece coming off as a unit), I watched spinners and thought of my wheel, and we observed several other interesting crafts - basketweaving, weaving, making pretty felt-covered boxes, tapestry weaving, beaded jewelry, doll-making, and much more! I didn't have my camera, though, so I couldn't get any pictures. (There also wasn't very much for sale, so my wallet was in little danger!)

I did have my camera for our hike, which turned, unexpectedly, into a wildflower hike of sorts after I saw the pink lady slippers. I remember looking for these flowers when I was a wee kid in the woods of Massachusetts; I remember my parents telling me, during our last spring in the state, that they were very rare and that one was lucky to see them, but so far as I recall, I didn't find them that year. This year I did, and I was amazed by their beauty, and by the beauty of the other flowers we saw in a scant two hours of hiking.

Small white ones Pink lady slippers

Hanging bells Green trail

Mini-daisies Jack-in-the-pulpit

May Apple blossoms Cranesbill geraniums

As you can see, I didn't know the names of several. "Mini-daisies" and "hanging bells" are far from technical names, and I'd love to know what they really are, if anyone knows! You can see bigger images over in Flickr.

I am constantly struck how beautiful it is here. My MIL kept remarking on how many different shades of green there were (she lives in Colorado), and it's true, springtime really is alive with greens, in so many more ways than one.

I've finally managed to get a picture of my latest sweater FO, so I hope to show that to you soon in the upcoming days!

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