Saturday, March 9

EIERBAUM....and you didn't think Easter eggs grew on trees!

Decking trees with hollowed-out, painted eggs for Easter is popular in Germany, but the 75-year-old Volker Kraft's creation has become something special. In 1965, Kraft decorated his apple sapling with only 18 plastic eggs. Decades later, the sturdy tree is festooned with almost 10,000 real eggs, artfully decorated with everything from beads to sea shells. Over the decades he has enlisted family and friends help in blowing out the insides of the eggs and painting them.
Kraft needs two weeks and countless trips up and down his ladder to hang his eggs. The task has become a little heavier each year since Kraft began his decorating decades ago. He started with plastic eggs, and later switched to real eggs painted by his three children. These days Kraft's wife, Christa, designs many of the most exotic decorations, knitting egg wrappings on long winter evenings.

Kraft has said when he reaches 10,000 eggs he'll stop. No more collecting and painting of Easter eggs. "There will be no increase because I do not have storage capacity anymore," the 76-year-old retiree says. "I would have to sleep with the eggs otherwise." Kraft's tree, in the town of Saalfeld, has become a major tourist attraction, drawing thousands of people every year. Last year alone, it drew 13,000 visitors. He has stopped making eggs, but he will surely continue his decades old tradition of decorating his apple the delight of children everywhere....

.......and you didn't think Easter eggs grew on trees!



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