Who knows what a Gnome looks like? Who knows if they really exist, how they talk, how they live? Some say they live up to 400 years. If that’s true it probably is because they live immersed in Nature, laugh, tell stories, sing, play drums, play gentle games and breathe fresh air while crossing bridges and hiking along trails lined with flowers. With his whitish beard, twinkling eyes and empathetic voice, Mr. Rich Humphreys could pass for a very special Gnome.
From April to October he can be found at the “Gnomery,”an exceptional nature enclave, 63 Bridge Path Road, Kirkwood, Pennsylvania, telling stories to children (or adults), hiking across bridges and stopping to pay homage to Gnomes who inhabit his enchanted Gnomeland. Humphreys is an artist totally integrated with his environment.
Activities he generates include arts and crafts, games of diverse sorts, nature study, plant identification, singing, hiking, shelter building, storytelling and…laughing.
“We hope visitors will leave Gnome Countryside loving the forest environment (things around you: trees, plants, birds, animals, water, air, etc.) because we feel if we love something we'll want to take care of it and we will work toward attaining the divine mystery that is in all things found in our natural environment.,” he asserts.
For centuries European as well as Native North American cultures have gendered legends about little people who dwell in the forests and are the caretakers of the trees, flora, fauna and wilderness life. That is what motivates Gnome Humphreys to organizing a unique educational experience.
Love for the environment and love for fellow human beings is what emanates from this creative soul while walking along wooded trails. Participants are inspired to open up and use their five senses to discover the beauty and enchantment of this deciduous woodland, which also includes Christmas fern, trillium, "ladyslippers" and who knows how many other plants, animals and insects.
There are Gnomes waiting to help at many nicks and crannies and the visitor can explore gnome building materials, stacking rocks or building Cairns and at anywhere along the way there may be singing, laughing or storytelling, while back at the Gnomery visitors are asked to reflect on their experience to take it back to the “real” world.
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