BRDC visits the Matthews Living History Farm Museum!

Click here for a gallery of the day's activities: GALLERY
Click here for a list of butterflies seen at the event: BUTTERFLIES

Through the great energy and support of Sandy Troth, and the Matthews Farm Museum staff, BRDC was proud to explore in the outdoors this last Saturday on those grounds. There is lots to discover in the fields and creek around the farm, and the setting was perfect. We also had the pleasure of sharing the event with Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, whose two volunteers , set up shop and fit right into our hands-on creative approach to learning in the outdoors. Local BRDC volunteers included Bob and Bill Perkins, Susan, Terry and Claire Gleason, Allen Boynton and Gale Kuebler, Jesse Pope, Jane Floyd, Michelle Pridgeon, Deborah Shell, and Laura Belleville. The farm staff also set up a creative blue bird house adventure, hosted by David Hauslohner, Sandy Troth and Sydney Rose Fant.

Among the activities were two stations set up by Jesse, chief naturalist for Grandfather Mountain; one consisting of highly technical gadgetry that read air temps at various altitudes, and the other a collection of bones, skins and feathers of a variety of critters, including squirrel, beaver, bat, sharp shinned hawk, and much more.

Allen and Gale helped with the critter station. Bob and Bill led a series of field trips concentrating on butterflies (butterfly images here-in by B. Perkins) and wildflower/insect associations.

Terry led field trips to the creek, with nets to gather and observe living aquatic creatures. Jane, Michelle and Deborah operated the flower press, concentrating on Queen Anne's Lace, complete with a live black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar, that feeds on Queen Anne's Lace. Kids were invited to create collages of the lace with butterfly printouts, and decorate as whim directed. Devin managed two stations, one devoted to deep local history defined by a collection of prehistoric projectile points, the other to brook trout and its ecology. Both of these stations had creative hands-on elements designed to draw participants closer to the moment, and were a big hit.

Claire brought her famous corn snake for another tiring day of being handled, along with a series of books on snakes and snakes as pets. Scott participated at all tables, accompanied a field trip, and kept attention on those coming and other words, attempted to manage the event.

During the day we had two surprise guests. Chris Brooke, reporter from the Galax Gazette arrived late in the day with his wife, Beth, to take in the festivities including the last field trip. And Jack Pitcher, well known for his Star Watch contribution to a number of newspapers and journals, arrived with a gift of ginkgo trees and enthusiastic support. We hosted kids, accompanied by parents, friends and in some cases, grandparents, and everyone seemed genuinely captivated.

-Scott Jackson-Ricketts

Photographs by Scott Jackson-Ricketts, Robert Perkins, and Devin Floyd