Blossoms and blessings brighten Mother's Day


Bartholomew's Cobble

What mother doesn't look forward to enjoying beautiful flowers on her special day? This year, families can add a special gift from Mother Earth by taking moms on a leisurely Mother's Day Wildflowers Guided Walk at Bartholomew's Cobble in Sheffield from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday.

Along the family-friendly trails, wild columbine puts on a dazzling display -- Shakespeare loved it in its natural setting -- along with many of the other flowering native plants whose roots belong in the Berkshires.

A knowledgeable Trustees of Reservations ranger guide will share practical tips on how to encourage the growth of native plants in backyards at home, creating welcoming habitats for colorful butterflies and visiting wild creatures.

Following the walk, those in an energetic mood can hike up to the top of the Cobble to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

The program is a reminder that while a Mother's Day gift of flowers in a vase may brighten up a kitchen table, wildflowers left growing in nature will brighten up the planet for all who see them.

The cost is $6 per person, up to a family maximum of $15. Registration is requested. Information:, (413) 229-8600.

Ventfort Hall

In what has become a popular annual tradition, Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will host a pre-Mother's Day Pink Tea and Ballet in its Great Hall on Saturday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Budding ballerinas can bring their mothers and other dance-loving family members to the grand Lenox estate for an afternoon performance by the talented dancers of the Albany Berkshire Ballet Junior Company and the Cantarella School of Dance under the direction of Deidre Duffin Swindlehurst, along with the American Dance Institute Ensemble of Pittsfield, led by Sharon MacDonald.

In a graceful cloud of tutus, tulle and colorful costumes, the dancers will demonstrate their elegance and athleticism as they perform excerpts from the classical ballet repertoire.

A sumptuous Victorian-style Pink Tea complete with dainty sandwiches and sweet treats will follow the performance and is included in the cost of admission.

An additional highlight of the afternoon is the opportunity to view Les Petites Dames de Mode -- The Little Ladies of Fashion -- a collection of more than 60 individually costumed 29-inch-tall mannequins sporting designs from the mid-19th century to 1914 painstakingly created by John Burbidge, retired Senior Designer for the famed bridal house Priscilla of Boston. Each exquisite ensemble is an original design made from elaborate materials matched with appropriate accessories such as parasols and gloves.

Admission is $20 for adults and $7 for children ages 5 to 17. There is no cost for ages 4 and under. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Information:, (413) 637-3206.

Berkshire Co-op

With Mother's Day fast approaching, it's time to think about finding that perfect, caring gift to present to the woman who gave us the priceless gift of life. And, as every mom knows, no gift is more appreciated than one crafted by hand and wrapped in love.

On Saturday at 3 p.m. over at the Berkshire Co-op in Great Barrington, the timely theme of this month's "D.I.Y. Kids" workshop is making a family picture locket for mom to treasure, using Ronnybrook milk container caps to frame the smiling faces of loved ones.

Bring a petite family photographic image measuring no more than 1 inch square to use for the project. If you arrive early, co-op staff will be on hand to help photocopy original photographs where needed. Children of all ages are welcome, and those under 5 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Sign up in advance at the co-op or by phone.

D.I.Y. Kids is part of a monthly series of free workshops sponsored by the co-op that offers imaginative, hands-on craft projects using natural and recycled materials, as well as healthy cooking classes designed for young hands and appetites. Information: (413) 528-9697 ext. 10.


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