Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wintery Foraging Walk

On my way to the post office this morning, I noticed this: 

I kicked myself for not having my phone to take some snaps but decided to come back out after I got home. This here scene and the post office are a stone's throw from my front door. 

Walking back outside to get my snaps I was reminded once again, and finally accepted I think, that I am made for this weather. I will take a day like this over a hot steamy humid one any time. I do love the sun, just not beaming directly on me for longer than 15 minutes or I fry up and sizzle. Not pretty and neither is my disposition after I've been in the sun for that long. 

But this weather, seeing the snow and mist roll over the water, snow flying, my cheeks soaking up the fresh zingy air, I LOVE. 

Walking back up to the house I realized, what a perfect time to take a little jaunt and poke around in our yard. I then remembered with a flood of fondness for my childhood in Bowdoinham when I loved to spend time outside in the snow. The world around me always changing and discovering new developments in all the nooks and crannies that was our yard on the Old Post Road. Those times in my childhood where I could wander free and just stare at tree bark, the snow flakes delicate glitterings, and spotting a flash of a red cardinal against the snow are some of my most dear and early memories. 

Our yard here on Peaks Island has it's interesting quirks. And the shape of our yard is kind of neat, I think. It's maybe 3/4 of an acre, I can never remember. And though we have a lot of lawn, there is also woodland. 

This some what blurry picture of all these branches is our lilacs that hug the edge of our "driveway". Or rather the grassy spot where we park the car when we bring it over on the ferry during parking bans (which we are waiting to hear if there will be one tonight or not) and when we bring something large home. Like a dresser. 

But if you look closely, you'll see dark purpley brown buds? Do you see them? To me, when I saw them I was struck by the promise of spring and growth and newness. That's why I love this time of year. It can seem dark and endless and cold because of the short days. But it's also the beginning of a new and fresh cycle for E V E R Y T H I N G. 

This red out building is our very very soon to be painting studio. It was a garden shed that Jubal used for years before I came on the scene. When we first got engaged back in April of 2011 and where making plans to move me here, he came up with the idea to turn it into a studio for us both. Jubal, though he doesn't talk about it much, if at all, is an amazing artist, drawing a lot as a kid and took a few art courses in college. I look forward to seeing him in here when he takes breaks from his computer work. And I also look forward to letting the paints fly and the color splashing everywhere and getting covered in finding my way back to my oils. 

So here's the part that inspired my curiosities for the walk and what I found in the end. Something about talking walks, even for 10 minutes can do such a world of good for my soul. Now to look at this piece of property that is behind the studio, you may not think it looks like much. A lot of brush and ugly gnarly looking vines, shrubs, logs, and what nots. But to really look closer, so much more is discovered. Also, this was the first time I have been back there since it snowed and my goal was to discover what berries lay about as they really stand out against the snow.

The first twig on the left I picked because the leaves looked very rosy. The plant itself looked forlorn, forgotten, and sad. Jubal confirmed it's a sad old sea rose bush. I got really excited and he said, we can plant a new one because this one was small and crazy looking and far off in the waste land of our back yard near a drainage ditch. I told him, no, this one is here and I love the idea of coaxing it back to life and maybe making a small woodland garden right around that rose bush. I'll let you know how it turns out this summer. 

The second twig is barberry Berberis canadensis. I popped a berry between my fingers and the color was so bright red. I discovered quite a good amount for collecting later. 

And the third twig is black night shade Solanum americanum. I popped this berry between my fingers and a very dark but bright purple was the color. I also found a ton of it up in the woody hill. Maybe I'll name this piece of property, Lilac Hill instead. It sounds nicer. 

So that was my foraging walk. I hear it's suppose to warm up on Sunday. I'll go back out then and collect these berries and do a dye experiment with sample yarns. Will post a tutorial later. Until then, starting next week, I'll be posting a dye tutorial at least once a week. First up being apple barks. 

My wish for you, think about this New Year. What does this time of year mean for you? Talk a walk outside a choose a path to meander around in that you don't normally tread. And notice the newness of a space that is always there and let it uplift you and bring freshness into your mind. And if you want to share your walk, or what you love about your yard or neighborhood, consider posting it here. I would love to hear from you. 

ox, r 

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