|Pressed leaf checkerboard|
|Tree of Heaven walking sticks|
|Wild Onion Puppet|
Doug Elliott is a stellar interpreter using song, stories and an incredible amount of knowledge about nature and history to keep us all enthralled.
Doug asks, how do you find a story in nature (or anywhere else for that matter)? He often starts with an incident, an encounter, a problem or a question-something happens to you, you meet someone, see something, or you wonder about something. The narrative he tells is a journey of investigation, trying to figure it out. The incident is your hook, not only to your listeners when you're storytelling, but also to yourself as an explorer and an investigator. Then he lets curiosity be his guide. He starts asking questions. Any journalist will tell you your ability to get a good story is often directly related to your ability to ask good questions. The first and probably the ultimate resource is yourself. How do/did I relate to that incident, encounter, problem or question? How did I feel?
He started with a story about finding a bird's skull while walking in the woods with a Native American friend. His friend said it was the skull of a Peace Eagle, then explained that the Cherokee called the Turkey Vulture a Peace Eagle because it didn't kill anything, but resembled an Eagle in flight. That was the start of a wonderful discussion on the beauties and virtues of Turkey Vultures. He had me hooked right from the beginning! For the second part of the session, Doug led us out for a walk and had some song or riddle or saying about everything we saw. Would you understand the adage "Always be wary of vines that are hairy?" We all returned to the building vowing to learn and use the Scat Rap!
|Completed Walking Stick|
|Hallowed Ground First Person Interpretation|
This is the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and many battlefields and cemeteries from that era are found in Tennessee. First Person interpretation is especially effective here, and we had a session with a drama coach learning tricks of voice and body language we can all use in any interpretive setting.
|Wood Sorrel - It's All There|