it's milkweed harvest season.
the monarchs are all done
and in my 25 acre grown up meadow
amongst the head high and higher goldenrod and brambly blackraspberry
i strove for an hour and a half harvesting
it's between green and field retting time,
the leaves are gold or gone,
and only a little milk left.
the bast fiber in the stalks is what i'm after,
and the few pods left
will provide me with seed fiber
all this fiber is for making paper later this fall.
i can't even begin to describe how jungly that meadow is.
much grown up to baby trees or bushes
but the goldenrod! over my head!
and the warm october meant that the thankfully tick free toil
was some of the hardest work i've done in a long time.
the result was a huge heavy plastic bag of potential.
i always make a little twine for fun
thankful that i don't have to make all the string i use in a year.
on my stove is a big pot
full of the black walnut harvest from two trees in town
in dye form.
(i only took some, the squirrels got most).
i've already dyed paper and cotton and silk and maybe some wool in it.
but i put in woven cotton tape a couple weeks ago.
it's cooked, steeped, cooked, steeped, fermented a bit
and the tape isn't dark enough yet.
but it will get there.
skein of twill woven cotton tape, dried
the last reveal included a fruity growth
see those beady bubbles
looking like amber treasure.
and some spores...
this layer went right into the garden
before i removed the skein.
my friend told me this summer
that if i was born 200 years ago i'd have been
accused of witchcraft.
perhaps he's right.