travels

Windfall Walnuts

We took a road trip down the Great River Road last week, following the Mississippi down the Wisconsin side.

bluffsWeb.jpg
Mississippi River

Mississippi River

At a roadside stop we stumbled upon a grove of Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) trees, with oodles of windfall walnuts. Lucky for me! This tree is native to eastern North America, including SE Minnesota/western Wisconsin.

black walnut

black walnut

I filled my bag, which yielded approx. 6 lbs. of hulls, 5 lbs of which I froze (recommended by J. M. Niles). Some of them were almost as big as apples!

bag full

bag full

I soaked the hulls in rainwater along with a splash of vinegar overnight, simmered them and then dyed some wool and silk samples. Results later this week.

 

The warmth of routine

Yesterday gale force winds blew out our unusually long, warm, and sunny autumn. It's comforting to get back to my katazome routine in anticipation of winter and to reminisce about my visit to Maine last week. The complicated geography of mid-coast Maine (Penobscot Bay) where my sister Fran lives has once again filled my imagination with woodland scenes, tidal coves and gray granite hills dappled with scarlet blueberry leaves. It is a quiet place that always replenishes my spirit.

Billings Cove

Billings Cove

the Maple out the window

the Maple out the window

dragon / wolf driftwood

dragon / wolf driftwood

Before leaving I tried my minnow pattern on some Japanese green wool purchased from John Marshall in August. It's just the right width off the bolt, as well as a fine weight, for runners.

minnow pattern on Japanese wool; natural indigo pigment

minnow pattern on Japanese wool; natural indigo pigment