Thursday, August 18, 2011

Is It Nuts to Act like a Squirrel?

Here we are at the end of August and due to being heat stressed, the walnut trees are already dropping their nuts.  (Usually this doesn't happen till late September/early October here in Oklahoma.)  At first the nuts were smaller than usual, but the closer we get to "normal" harvest time, the larger the nuts are becoming.

I like to take the opportunity of my lunch hour to get out of the office and pick-up walnuts.  I try to be deligent and get them as soon as they fall, when they're still green.  I never pick them off the tree quite simply because the tree isn't finished making them yet.  Many times, I feel like an overgrown squirrel picking up nuts and putting them into my recycled shopping bag.  There are always plenty to share with my furry bethren as I pass over those that have lain on the ground too long, or are slightly imperfect due to other ways.

In the park where I typically pick up these little packages of brown dye, there is one tree that has been barren for several years.  Today, it yielded three nuts to me!  I wonder if that is all it will produce.

When I return home from work, I will hoard my nuts into drying racks.  There they will wait until it is time to relinquish their tannin treasure to my dye bath.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Busy, busy, busy....

I didn't realize that it had been so long since I last posted.  It has been a long, hot summer and my dye/native plant garden is showing the wear. 

I gave a talk on dyeing wool to the Green Country Quilters.  What a fabulous group of ladies!  So many good questions and fun interaction.

My indigo class at Fiber Christmas was just one person shy of being a full fifteen.  It was great!  I even had a couple of "sprouts" in the group who were very engaged during the whole class.  It was great to see all my friends and meet new ones.