Sunday, April 11, 2010

mini and macro

being on spring break is lovely. i can go to bed late, or early; get up early, or late. i can think thoughts through to their end and breathe with ease. i have no huge commitments or things hanging over my head. i can haul brush and work on firewood at an easy pace. i get more done that way, but it doesn't seem like it. 
bloodroot is in blossom, here in my cold spot perennial border it's just new, down the road it's doing better, in spite of my wobbly photography.
after looking for bloodroot to harvest, and not finding a roadside spot that was under imminent threat from construction, my friend and i drove around the south west part of st. lawrence county. and these lovely, stately clydesdales were trotting about and grazing. five of them. magnificent. and when they were moving, with the intense sunshine on them, they took my breath away.
these horses are mostly black, gorgeous white feathers all around, huge and perfectly proportioned. one was a roan, and had a short tail. i can imagine riding one of these giants. i bet the stride is unbelievable!

from the huge to the tiny, back to bloodroot. you have to look for it, unless you find a large patch. but it still grows close to the ground, first a white sprinkling, then the huge leaves open up and show their stuff, then they're gone, and evidence of the root is covered up for another year.
bloodroot is a surprising plant, i first saw it in wanakena, near the oswegatchie river. it was all around a yard at an old camp. i was there for a household sale. what i found: artifacts of all kinds, adirondack memorabilia. snowshoes, pack baskets. inuit carvings. typical stuff. what i came away with was a start of bloodroot, a gift from the family, to plant at my home. puccoon, bloodroot's old name, is a fun word, native in origin according to douglas b. elliott in roots: an underground botany and forager's guide. 

but bloodroot makes a wonderful dye and that's what i'm after this week, a little fresh puccoon to dye with. if i can't find some fresh, a hunt through the freezer is in order. i have some gifted organza that i envision using bloodroot on.
as you can see from the date, this sample of bloodroot dye or stain was rubbed into a drawing seven years ago. the paper is a strathmore charcoal paper, a nice quality, but nothing spectacular. i was camping on an island in the st. lawrence with my students and other staff. i made a simple pamphlet stitch journal to take along on the trip, and tried to record some of the finds from the trip. what else i found: a cache of reddish rotting tree/earth. i hauled home a plastic bag of the stuff, and used it also as a pigment on paper and fiber.  


jude said...

i have never seen this plant, but heard of it. it is nice that you have free time to ramble on like this. you are so full of information.
and that horse... i will use it as an inspiration for one of my messengers. i love the thickness of the proportions.

Velma said...

i almost ran my subaru off the road in my eagerness to stop and take pics!

Dianne said...

Beautiful post... as usual...

Virginia said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm in a great big hurry to get to the point in my life where I can be a bit more leisurely and focus on arts experiments and wanderings in the woods - just like you are getting do do now this vacation. Then I remember that you were patient and found ways to hoard little bits of your time for yourself all those years when your kids were young and busy and demanding and I decide that I can be patient and learn how to hoard up moments, too. :)

You blaze a good trail.

neki desu said...

looking forward to seeing the dye

iNdi@ said...

good storytelling here...

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