Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Miami County, Ohio Hug the Earth Festival with the Banana Slugs from Santa Cruz, California, 2012

This year, for the first time, the Hug the Earth Festival with the Banana Slugs was held at Stillwater Prairie Reserve. Stillwater has a larger area to stage the event which has grown every year for fifteen years.

The Banana Slugs are a group from Santa Curz, California.  They have been together for over twenty years.  I think the group is now approaching  thirty years together.  Their goal is to educate the world about the natural world and how to care for it.  Two of them, Doug and Larry, do shows the year around in California.  Steve and Mark run a nature camp for San Mateo County. 

One of the first Slug songs I learned before I had met the Slugs was this one.  They sing it but it makes a good chant, too.

           Sun, Soil, Water, and Air,
           Sun, Soil, Water, and Air.
  
           Everything we eat
           and everything we wear,
           Everything we eat
           and everything we wear,

           Everything comes from
           Every thing comes from

          Sun, Soil, Water, and Air,
          Sun, Soil, Water, and Air.

Appropriately, the "Earth Names" the Slugs have given themselves match the chant.


Doug "Dirt"
"Airy" Larry
"Solar" Steve
"Marine" Mark

When the Banana Slugs come to Ohio, they bring a drummer who is not a regular member of the band.
"Gaia" Gary

Tom and I spent Tuesday through Friday filming and taking photographs of the festival. It is always great fun and lasts all day.

All of the students from the Miami County schools who come take part in a song and dance with the Slugs and spend the rest of the day doing a variety of activities. Each day a thousand or more students and their teachers and some parents attend.  The program is coordinated with the school curriculum so it is offically approved  but the children look forward to it, like all children, because it is fun and they are not cooped up in the classroom for the day.

I'll write a couple more blogs about the festival. There is a lot to talk about.