Kids’ Almanac: Hudson Valley adventures 6/6-6/13

kangaroo @The prototypes of strong sensation: blazing lights, red earth, blue sea, mauve twilight, the flake of gold buried in the black depths of the cypress; archaic tastes of wine and olive, ancient smells of dust, goat dung and thyme, immemorial sounds of cicada and rustic flute.
– Robert Hughes


Mother Earth

Here are three events that celebrate different aspects of the Earth: buried treasures that come in the form of gemstones and minerals; botanicals; and preservation of Mother Earth.


Mineral, Gem, Jewelry & Fossil Show at Museum Village in Monroe


In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert’s partner Felipe speaks about gemstone parcels often seen at trade shows: a discount-priced bundle that includes a few valuable gemstones mixed in with many other less-valuable stones. Felipe explains the all-too-common temptation of buying the parcel for those few desirable gems instead of focusing on the worth and usefulness of the other, cheaper stones that the dealer is simply trying to unload: “It’s the same with relationships, I think. People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of that’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to be pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.”

I don’t know much about gemstones but I really love this insightful perspective on relationships. If you or someone in your family is interested in gemstones, the Orange County Mineral Society hosts its annual Mineral, Gem, Jewelry and Fossil Show, Sell and Swap this Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9 at Museum Village. In addition to vendors, educational lectures, a collection of local minerals, a fluorescent rock display and children’s games with opportunities to win free minerals, some of the museum’s buildings will be open during the show, including one with the most complete mastodon found in New York State.

This family-friendly show takes place rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission costs $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children and is free for scouts in uniform. Museum Village is located at 1010 Route 17M in Monroe. For more information, call (845) 683-1167 or visit To learn more about Museum Village, visit


Botanical Drawing Class with Wendy Hollender at Mohonk Preserve

I discovered botanical artist, author and instructor Wendy Hollender’s work at a local crafts show last winter. I honestly had no idea that anyone really drew botanical art. I knew that it was something that I have seen hanging up in classy people’s homes, but I figured that this type of illustration was all done on computers now. So I needed to verify for myself. I pointed to a half-dozen of her pieces and kept asking, “What about this one: You drew this one, too?” I’ve been in love with her work ever since.

As soon as I heard about Hollender’s upcoming class, I got excited all over again. Now you have a chance to learn from this expert! On Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Hollender presents a Botanical Drawing Class at the Mohonk Preserve. It’s open to all abilities for ages 12 and up; all materials will be provided – just bring a lunch. The cost is $20 for Preserve members and $30 for everyone else. Space is limited, so call early to sign up.

The Mohonk Preserve is located at 3197 Route 44/55 in Gardiner. For more information or to register, call (845) 255-0919 or visit To learn more about the artist, visit