The Fair at NEW BOSTON

E have returned from the fair at New Boston, where we all had a spectacular time of it! The weather was perfectly suited to the occasion of a great outdoor fair, mild temperatures, light breezes and blue skies with a dappling of little white clouds. This would be my first visit to the Fair at New Boston that did not involve my being there in some professional capacity. In years past, I have served as a safety for mr. and mrs. Barker's wagon rides, marching out before the horses and entreating the crowds not to be trodden under hoof. But this year I was in attendance at my leisure. So I packed my specimen cages and decided to make it a proper holiday, one in which I could pursue my love of naturalism.

The girls ran and played nearly the entirety of each day. Rose joined up with a large group of boys that were playing at 'militia' with the wooden swords and guns. Molly and Sophia spent a goodly amount of their time in the pursuit of candied treats, and Lucy spent a good deal of her time wandering the streets in search of things to ask me to purchase for her!

Capt. Rosie of the 'junior militia' watches as her troops battle it out.

Early Saturday morning I discovered a tinsmith who had made three of the most lovely green painted vasculums I had seen to date. It was complete with an adjustable leather shoulder strap, but the smith wanted seventy five for it, I did not have the heart to turn loose of so much money so early in the fair, as I also had my heart set on other purchases. I asked the smith if he would consider taking 50 for the vasculum, but he shook his head and said he was uncertain, and to come back later that evening to ask after it again.

Oh yes, what is a vasculum you ask? It is a box used by botanists for collecting specimens and keeping them safe until returning from nature to study the items collected. We shall talk more on it later fair reader.

Talking with Sir Terry and others outside the Coffee House.

The remainder of the forenoon was spent in browsing the shops and talking with friends that I have not seen in some time.

Saturday afternoon we assembled a group to set forth on what would become a nature expedition for children. Near four o'clock I set out toward the woods that surround New Boston with my daughters and several children that we had befriended during the course of that day en tow. The further we went, the more children started heading back to the fair until, eventually, only two intrepid young lads remained with us. Eventually our walk lead us deep down a well worn trail where the sunlight only peeked through the canopy of leaves overhead.

The girls aided me in carrying the specimen cages.

Eventually, we came across a scenic little waterfall that trickled down into a shallow, stoney creek. The children were on it in a flash! The boys wasted no time in discovering all manner of crayfish and swarms of glimmering minnows. And I had to remind the girls constantly not to get their dresses wet, because the sun was setting, and it would be cold soon. The falls and the creek were not very active, and there was a good deal of flora grown up in the old creek bed due to generally dry conditions in the area for the past few weeks.

I climbed to the top of the falls while the children explored below.

I encourage the girls to keep their dresses dry, in vain.

Rose makes her way over the rocks, eager to fill her little cages.

Having lost the boys, the girls and I venture across a fallen tree.

Sophia points out a specimen which she deems interesting
enough to collect, but not to touch with her own hands.

Having lost a good deal of our light,
we venture back toward New Boston itself.


1 comment:

Michael said...

Doctor,

It was a distinct pleasure to see you and meet the Miss R's at the Faire. I trust you shall have great success with your new vasculum.

Yr. Obdt. Srvt,

M. Cooper