This morning during breakfast I was startled by the tremolo call of a common loon as it flew over our house. This is a first -- even though we do spot a loon or two on Lake Como each spring, no doubt in transit to the North Woods. It's one of my favorite sounds and makes me long for quiet coniferous forests and tranquil lakes. The humid, cool and rainy weather pattern has been lingering over our area for almost a week. The garden is lush and you can almost see it grow.
Jenny Dean's blog post on useful garden trees for dyeing has spurred me on to try cooking my birch bark, which has been soaking for almost a month. This morning I gently simmered the bark for about an hour. The smell was not pleasant at first, but after awhile it had a vague scent of cinnamon -- perhaps the tannin? After straining the liquid off I will will see what happens with some well-used linen and a couple of pieces of silk. (I used alum as a pre-mordant.)
I am hoping for some pinks.