I walked outside this morning and immediately felt the change in the air. The weather was cool and crisp. A dense fog hovered just above the ground in the field. The sun had that lovely glow that only an early fall morning can reveal. I saw several wild cherry leaves on the ground as I stepped off the back porch. Bright yellow and some were spattered with red or brown. Somewhere in the neighborhood some one was burning leaves and wood. The faintest whisper of smoke was on the air. Even the dog notices the change. It will not last long. By nine it will be in the 80's or higher, and summer will continue.
I have been gathering acorns all week. I have separated the caps from the nuts. Yesterday I made my first acorn dyes. I made one from 4 ounces of caps and a half-gallon of tap water. The other one was 4 ounces of the nuts in their hulls and also in a half-gallon of tap water. Each were boiled for 1/2 hour in an aluminum pot. The dye bath made from caps only looked dark brown. The dye bath made from the whole nuts looked almost black. I simmered bleached cotton in the dye baths for 20 minutes. The results may be seen in the photo Nuts! on this page.
The results were surprising. I expected much darker color from both. I added another piece of muslin with a RR spike rolled up inside the cloth and added it to the pot of dye made from caps only. After 20 minutes, I could see a change in the color of the bath and some black peeking through the fabric. The acid and the tannins reacted with the iron and created the gray-black.