Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Hot Stuff

The stall at Larmer Tree Festival -
note the lack of mud...
Last weekend the BES starship ‘S n B n R n R’ landed in deepest and brightest Wiltshire at the beautiful Larmer Tree Festival. The crew nestled themselves amongst an eclectic mix of aging hippies, groovy young families, young beautiful things, posh frocks, silly hats, peacocks, parrots and exquisite surroundings. The sun was hot, the air was still. The exhibit tent felt like a sauna but did not deter over 1600 people coming to chat about ecological science and play with our ecological games. 

‘Who’s poo?’ became something of a festival catch phrase
Peter the Poo expert
and Peter ‘the expert on shiny poo’ Fawdon became worryingly attached to this busk (all in the name of science – honest!). He was ably aided and abetted by Frazer ‘the shades’ Bird and Sophie ‘the dancer’ Dixon who worked their collective charms on the massed crowds waxing lyrical about how much mushrooms smell and taking pictures to capture the event. 

Sophie enthrals visitors with
the scent of mushrooms
The team was led from the front by Captain Emma ‘I need a new festival hat’ Sayer who made sure that we were all kept on the straight and narrow while Sarah ‘Chief Swab Officer’ Pierce made sure that people revealed their deepest, darkest microbial secrets by sampling them for bugs. Many ‘swabees’ returned to be grossed out by the agar plates that showed them what was actually growing on the on their shoes, hands, feet... and hula hoops! 

Its not just visitors who love
'whose poo'
We also had lots and lots of different bees (including a live bumblebee colony) to show people the diversity of pollinators that help crops and wildflowers flourish. Matt ‘mustn’t grumble’ Heard even celebrated his birthday at the stall with cakes and a book about a dead parrot. On the music front, Dexys didn’t play ‘Come on Eileen’, Seasick Steve rocked so hard that he couldn’t understand how the moon got so big and Lau knocked everyone’s socks off with blistering folk tunes played at break-neck speeds. 

The Larmer Tree peacock
keeps an eye on the
backstage area.
Did I say it was hot? What a scorcher... and that was just the ecology...

Post by Matt

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