This is becoming my favorite time of the year. Not only is summer coming to a close, but that means that cooler weather will bring changing leaf colors, fruits ripen for harvest, Mother Nature will put on her finest and give use a hand shopping for dyestuffs. It is a marvelous time of the year. I have been granted a boon, in a sense. This is the year when the local electric company trimmed their rights-of-way and the new sprouts are shooting up all over. That means I get to pick and choose the colors of foliage I want to work with. It is also much lower and I can reach it better. This also means that I can pick up firewood that they have cut down for me. All you have to do is ask and they will let you take away some branches. It means they don't have to shred them or haul them away. Oak trees here in Florida are already dropping acorns. The live oaks and certain white oaks have a good crop on them. Gathering them only takes a few minutes and they store well for dyeing with later. I had another stroke of luck thanks to Hurricane Irene. The winds she brought to my area shook down a whole lot of hickory nuts. I picked up 20 lbs. in about 15 minutes. I will begin extracting them tomorrow. Today I stopped where a road crew was cutting goat willow alongside the road and they gave me about 15 branches. I have a pot of willow dye on now. I will dry some of the branches for dyeing with later in the fall. It makes a beautiful yellow color, and is very versatile. I have been asked to give a talk at our local Historical Society about natural dyeing the way the early pioneers did. I will be making several batches of dye to show the dye color and the finished fabric. I'm really looking forward to it. I think I will try some mud dyeing also. We have some beautiful red clay type soil in my area and I think I can get a successful dye from it. If I do, I will post photos on the blog.
I hope everyone is enjoying this blog. Please feel free to post comments or suggestions. Don't be bashful. just click on "comments" at the end of each blog, and add yours. Be back in a little while.