The day after my last post on Herons (August 23rd), I saw a Great Blue Heron again. I didn’t see one last friday (August 24th) and I didn’t go to Centennial Lake Saturday or Sunday (August 25-26th), but the last two days (August 27th and 28th), I’ve the the White Heron both days and a Great Blue Heron yesterday. They are such magnificent birds and such a beautiful sight.
“This is a salad:
This is crunchy water:
Salads have greener greens and other vegetables. The more colorful your salad, the better.
I’ve been to Centennial Lake the last three mornings in a row and everyday I saw at least one Heron.
The first day, Monday August 20th, I saw a great big Great Blue Heron and the White Heron my dad had seen one day in Dayton. I was taking a break from running when I heard that squawk of theirs and ran back to an opening in the trees to see out to the water, got a glimpse of the blue one and ran to the next break in the trees where it had been flying towards and saw it go by this little island of trees squawking louder now. Then thats when the white one flew out of its spot in the tree to make way for the big blue one and picked another spot. It was amazing but I couldn’t see them perched in the tree from where I was. I kept on walking and found them when I got to the other side of that part of the lake. They were just perched their, looking around, cleaning their wings, hanging out. It was such a beautiful sight.
The second day, Tuesday August 21st, I didn’t see the blue one but I did see the white one again. I spotted it first from this bridge by a tunnel. It’s white feathers stuck out like a big ball of snow against the grey sky and dark green leaves. It was perched in the same tree as the day before but higher up. I watched it from where I had before as it cleaned its wings and just sat there.
Today, Wednesday August 22nd, I saw at least two herons, maybe three, and all were Great Blue Herons. I didn’t spot the white one today but I got a really close up view of two of the Blue Herons. I was walking along this long stretch of flat and open trail by the water when I heard that squawking again and turned around to see two Great Blue Herons flying up to th path, one sweeping low to the waters edge and the other kept going up and up and to the other side past a line of trees. I quietly walked down closer to the water to spot the one that had landed there and I found it. I stood there for a good couple minutes maybe watching it before it flew off. A little later I was by the little wooded island where I had seen the Herons the past two days and spotted a heron again, perched in a nearby spot. Now, I couldn’t tell you if it was a different heron or one of the ones I saw earlier but it it was, it was going to be the one that flew over the path that I didn’t get the greatest view of. The one that had landed by the water was smaller than the one I saw later perched in a tree. It was an amazing sight none the less.
If you live in the area, I definitely suggest going to Centennial Lake to take a look around. I was there from 7am to 830am. I don’t know how often you see them there later in the day.
Great Blue Heron photo source: http://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/heron.html
White Heron photo source: http://mainethroughthelens.blogspot.com/
So, there is thing garden plot outside my front door that used to be maintained by a woman a few doors down. She planted flowers and other plants (not vegetables or food plants) in there for years, ever since I can remember. It was last year or the year before that the people who run the neighborhood had the people who cut the grass and other stuff dig everything up out of the garden plot and dig up the plants in some people’s yards. We don’t know and there really isn’t any reasonable explanation for why they did it. They put in a few common and cheap flowers in there but mostly mulch.
This year though, this vine like plant with huge leaves came up (early in the spring). It grew fast and soon we noticed these orange flowers after awhile. My mom called them squash blossoms and sure enough, somehow, it was a squash plant. No one in the neighborhood grew it, heck, you’d be lucky if half the people in my neighborhood recognized a zucchini if they saw one. It grew and grew and grew and at one point, the mailman was scared of it, having the idea that maybe one day when he went to put the mail in the mailbox that it would grab him, pull him into the thickest part, and eat him. We kept seeing flowers, but no squash. No bees on the flowers either. One day, my mom had the idea to fertilize the flowers with each other so my dad brought a couple of the flowers together, shaking the pollen into each other. Voila, not a whole lot later, maybe a couple weeks, we noticed that squashes had started to grow! So, I decided to snap a few pieces of the vine and me and my dad put them in containers of water so they would sprout and we could have our own squash plant. My parents think it’s pumpkin but I’m going more for acorn squash. Anyway, it must have been a bird that started this all (having eaten a seed and pooped it or dropped it in the garden plot). My aunt says a tomato plant mysteriously started growing one year in her backyard thinking it was most likely a bird too. Yay for birds!
On Sunday, the second day of the fair, I went down at about 8:30 in the morning and stayed till four.
First, I went to see the Draft Horse and Mule show. I didn’t stay very long because I wanted to see the Vintage Auto show too but I got a great look at some Percherons’ (French Draft Horse. They were absolutely beautiful. Of course, another reason I wasn’t too excited to stay was that I’m still getting over my fear of horses.They had started lining them outside the ring and that was making me nervous. The only reason I even went was because, though a young adult book series and consequently looking up the type of horse they talked about, I grew to really like Percherons. I’m trying to get over the fear, but it’s hard.
As I said, I went to see the Vintage Auto Show next which was amazing but then I went to see the exhibit they had on Honey Bees. I got to look at a Live Honey Bee nest and talked with a lovely woman named Ruth for a good while about Honey Bees and other stinging insects, about different types of honey, about how you become a bee keeper and about being a bee keeper. I also bought two sample tubes of honey with flavors I hadn’t had before; blackberry, meadowsweet (which is supposed to have a marshmallow flavor), and a South American variety which is supposed to have a caramel flavor (and I’ve tried it and it so does).
Then I went to a 4-H Activities Hall and talked to two people about nature centers/parks I could visit in Howard County, to a person about the HERP project where they ask volunteers to send in and take pictures of reptiles and amphibians so they can track populations throughout the state of Maryland till 2014. I’ve sent some pictures in already but it gave me a chance to see some pictures of what I should be looking for and where to find them. Also, I talk to Master Gardeners (a program or community of highly experienced gardeners you ask help and advice from). I got some advice to protect against stinkbugs (wire mesh around the plant, a light clay spray you can get at farm stores that needs to be replaced after a rain, and getting tiny kids (from the family) to literally remove the bugs from the plants as a fun activity and pay them a penny per stinkbug). The clay spray seemed best to me because they said most bugs, including stink bugs hate the little film of clay on the tomatoes (you have to spray it on the tomato itself) and that the wire mesh you would put around the plant would restrict it’s growth. The spray easily washes off after you’ve picked it. Though you have to replace it after every rain, I think it’s the best option unless you have a LOT of tomatoes and then, maybe I would go with the mesh.
The rest of the fair for me was buying cool stuff (I’ll post about the places later when I find their business cards) and eating (Jobe’s Bit Beef was amazing though I got Pit Turkey and their XXX hot barbacue sauce and Tiger sauce was AWESOME, the tiger sauce being mayonaise and horseradish). Oh, and the family and I walked through the barns holding farm animals.
I highly suggest the Howard County Fair for anyone in the area. It’s a five dollar entrance fee and the food is expensive but they do have a lot of free activities. The expensive food can be pretty freaking great and they have bands and amusement park rides at night. Check it out!
The Howard County Fairgrounds are in West Friendship, MD.
“It’s a scientifically-proven fact that the darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants are to the body, the way rust-proof works on a car – they have the ability to mop up free radicals and keep you looking younger, longer. Thus, dark foods with a purple pigment, such as purple onions, concord grapes, purple cabbage, black mission figs, prunes and blackberries, are known for having amazing healing powers.
The purple pigment in all of these fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure. Resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decreases the pressure in the arteries and allows better circulation. Produce with purple hues contain a variety of polyphenols that can reduce the inflammatory response in the body. In my book Meals That Heal Inflammation, I outline how inflammation is at the root of all major diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and immune dysfunction.
Let’s take a deeper look into these dark nutritional superheroes. Here are five reasons to eat more purple foods:
1. Purple foods kill cancer
The resveratrol found in purple grapes, cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, and, of course, red wine and grape juice can inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer in animal studies. Other promising studies also show that resveratrol can induce cancer cell death in cases of prostate, breast, skin, liver, lung and blood cancers. The curcumin in turmeric seems to boost its anti-cancer activity so have a glass of pinot noir (the type of wine highest in resveratrol) next time you have curry.
2. Purple foods are ulcer-fighters
A 2011 study found that anthocyanins from blackberries reduced stomach ulcer formation in rats. Researchers believe this is because the antioxidants in blackberries prevent oxidation and boost the activity of other important antioxidants, such as glutathione, that are naturally present in the body.
3. Purple foods are good for your liver
Black rice, which has more anthocyanins per gram than blueberries, is a delicious antioxidant grain that has been found to reduce damage to the liver incurred by excessive alcohol intake.
4. Purple foods are good for the heart
Black currants can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 13 percent while raising “good” HDL cholesterol. Black currants and bilberries have more anthocyanins than blueberries. Wild raw berries have higher antioxidant content than fresh raw berries or frozen varieties.
5. Purple foods prevent urinary tract infections
Vegetables such as purple cauliflower, purple carrots and purple cabbage contain the same plant pigment, anthocyanin, that is responsible for the UTI-fighting power of cranberries. Lab studies show that anthocyanin compounds fight H. pylori, the bacteria that promotes stomach ulcers and urinary tract infections.”
^ found this site through Natural Living Forum on Facebook
^ funny, I didn’t know I was getting the image from an article on the exact same thing until I went to get the URL for sourcing it.
I found this on the internet while searching for natural dyes to dye yarn. For my upcoming ritual I want rope and yarn made of 100% natural product but I haven’t found it in the colors I like so I decided to dye the ones I could find.Hope this helps!
THE FOLLOWING IS COPY AND PASTED FROM PIONEER THINKING. HERE IS THE WEB ADDRESS: http://www.pioneerthinking.com/crafts/crafts-basics/naturaldyes.html
“Gathering plant material for dyeing: Blossoms should be in full bloom, berries ripe and nuts mature. Remember, never gather more than 2/3 of a stand of anything in the wild when gathering plant stuff for dying.
To make the dye solution: Chop plant material into small pieces and place in a pot. Double the amount of water to plant material. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Strain. Now you can add your fabric to be dyed. For a stronger shade, allow material to soak in the dye overnight.
Getting the fabric ready for the dye bath: You will have to soak the fabric in a color fixative before the dye process. This will make the color set in the fabric.
Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) 1/2 cup salt to 8 cups cold water
Plant Fixatives (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar
Add fabric to the fixative and simmer for an hour. Rinse the material and squeeze out excess. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear.
Dye Bath: Place wet fabric in dye bath. Simmer together until desired color is obtained. The color of the fabric will be lighter when its dry. Also note that all dyed fabric should be laundered in cold water and separately.
Muslin, silk, cotton and wool work best for natural dyes and the lighter the fabric in color, the better. White or pastel colors work the best.
NOTE: It’s best to use an old large pot as your dye vessel. Wear rubber gloves to handle the fabric that has been dyed, the dye can stain your hands. It’s also important to note, some plant dyes may be toxic, check with the Poison Control Center if unsure.
A Listing Of Plant Material Available For Dyes
Shades Of Orange
|Shades Of Brown|
|– Alder Bark – (orange)
– Bloodroot will give a good orange to reddish orange color.
– Sassafras (leaves)
– Onion (skin) – orange
– Lichen (gold)
– Carrot – (roots) orange
– Lilac (twigs) – yellow/orange
– Barberry (mahonia sp.) yellow orange (with alum) very strong & permanent. Any part of the plant will work.
– Giant Coreopsis (Coreopsis gigantea) Yields bright permanent orange with alum.
– Turmeric dyed cloth will turn orange or red if it is dipped in lye.
– Pomagrante – with alum anywhere from orange to khaki green.
– Butternut – (seed husks) – orange
– Eucaluptus – (leaves and bark) beautiful shades of tan, orange and brown.
|– Wild plum root will give a reddish or rusty brown.
– Oak bark will give a tan or oak color.
– Sumac (leaves) – tan
– Dandelion (roots) brown
– Broom –(bark) – yellow/brown
– Walnut (hulls) – deep brown (wear gloves)
– Walnut (husks) – deep brown – black
– Tea Bags – light brown, tan
– White Birch – (inner bark) – brown
– Juniper Berries
– Fennel – (flowers, leaves) – yellow/brown
– Coffee Grinds
– Acorns (boiled)
– Hollyhock (petals)
– Colorado Fir – (bark) – tan
– Yellow dock (shades of brown)
– Beetroot -Dark Brown With FeSO4
– Maple Trees (Red Leaf Buds) – red-brown color when dried. Found on branches before new leaves appear only present during early spring and throughout fall.
– Amur Maple (Acer Ginnala) – black, blue, brown from dried leaves.
– Ivy –(twigs) – yellow/brown
– Pine Tree Bark – light medium brown. Needs no mordant.
– White Maple (bark) – Light brown/ buff – Alum to set
– Birch (bark) – Light brown/ buff – Alum to set
– St John’s Wort (blossom) – brown
– Broom Sedge – golden yellow and brown
– Coneflower (flowers) – brownish green ; leaves and stems – gold
– Goldenrod (shoots ) – deep brown
|Shades Of Pink|
– Raspberries (red)
– Roses and Lavender, with a little mint and some lemon juice to activate the alkaloids can make both a brilliant pink dye and a very tasty pink lemonade.
– Lichens – A pink, brown, or wine colored dye can be produced from a lichen known as British soldiers.
– Camilla –It’s a nice pink-magenta. With lemon and salt.
– Grand Fir -(bark) pink
|Shades Of Blue – Purple||Shades Of Red|
|– Dogwood (bark) – blue
– Red cabbage
– Woad(first year leaves). Woad gives a pale to mid blue colour depending on the type of fabric and the amount of woad used.
– Mulberries (royal purple)
– Elderberries (lavender)
– Saffron –(petals) blue/green
– Grapes (purple)
– Cornflower – (petals) blue dye with alum, water
– Cherry (roots)
– Blackberry (fruit) strong purple
– Hyacinth – (flowers) – blue
– Japanese indigo (deep blue)
– Indigo (leaves) – blue
– Red Cedar Root (purple)
– Raspberry –(fruit) purple/blue
– Red Maple Tree (purple)(inner bark)
– Nearly Black Iris – (dark bluish purple) alum mordant
– Dogwood – (fruit) greenish-blue
– Oregon Grape –(fruit) blue/purple
– Purple Iris – blue
– Sweetgum (bark) – purple / black
– Queen Anne’s Lace –
|– Elderberry – red
– Red leaves will give a reddish brown color I use salt to set the dye.
– Sumac (fruit) – light red
– Sycamore (bark)- red
– Dandelion (root)
– Beets – deep red
– Bamboo – turkey red
– Crab Apple – (bark) – red/yellow
– Rose (hips)
– Madder (root) – red
– Hibiscus Flowers (dried)
– Canadian Hemlock – (bark) reddish brown
– Japanese Yew – (heartwood) – brown dye
– Wild ripe Blackberries
– St. John’s Wort– (whole plant) soaked in alcohol – red
– Bedstraw (root) – red
|Shades Of Gray – Black||Shades Of Red – Purple|
|– Iris (roots)
– Sumac (leaves) (Black)
– Carob pod (boiled) will give a gray to cotton
– Oak galls – makes a good black dye.
– Sawthorn Oak – (seed cups) – black
– Walnut (hull) – black
– Rusty nails & vinegar – set with Alum.
|– Pokeweed (berries)
– Hibiscus (flowers, dark red or purple ones) – red-purple.
– Daylilies (old blooms)
– Safflower– (flowers, soaked in alcohol) – red
– Logwood (is a good purple but you have to watch it as it dyes quick when the pot is fresh. Also it exhausts fast. We use alum to mordant and using iron can give you logwood gray.)
– Huckleberry – lavender (can use it for dye and also for ink.)
– Portulaca – (flowers, dried and crushed to a powder) use with a vinegar orsalt mordant, can produce strong magentas, reds, scarlets, oranges and
– Beluga Black Lentils – soaked in water overnight .. yield a dark purplish / black water. The color is washfast and lightfast and needs NO MORDANT and it lasts – a beautiful milk chocolate brown (when super thick) … to a lighter medium brown or light brown when watered down.
– Dark Hollyhock (petals) – mauve
– Basil – purplish grey
|Shades Of Green||Shades Of Peach/Salmon|
|– Artemisia species provide a range of greens from baby’s breath to nettle green.
– Tea Tree– (flowers) green/black
– Spinach (leaves)
– Sorrel (roots) – dark green
– Foxglove – (flowers) apple green
– Lilac –(flowers) – green
– Camellia –(pink, red petals) – green
– Snapdragon – (flowers) – green
– Black-Eyed Susans
– Grass (yellow green)
– Pigsweed (entire plant) yellow green
– Red Pine (needles) green
– Broom– (stem) green
– Larkspur – green – alum
– Plantain Roots
– White Ash – (bark) – yellow
– Purple Milkweed –(flowers & leaves) – green
– Lily-of-the-valley (light green) be careful what you do with the spent dye bath. The plant is toxic so try to avoid pouring it down the drain into the water supply.
– Barberry root (wool was dyed a greenish bronze-gold)
– Red onion (skin) (a medium green, lighter than
– Yarrow –(flowers) yellow & green shades
– Mulga Acacia –(seed pods) – green
– Peach – (leaves) yellow/green
– Coneflower (flowers) – green
– Peppermint – dark kakhi green color
– Queen Anne’s Lace – pale green
– Black-Eyed Susans – bright olive/apple green
– Hydrangea (flowers) – alum mordant, added some copper and it came out a beautiful celery green
– Chamomile (leaves) – green
|– Jewelweed – orange/peach
– Broom Flower
– Virginia Creeper (all parts); alum mordant; Peach.
– Achiote powder (annatto seed
– Plum tree (roots) (salmon color on wool with alum)
– Weeping Willow (wood & bark) makes a peachy brown (the tannin
– Virgina Creeper – (fruit) – pink
– Balm (blossom) – rose pink
Shades Of Yellow/Wheat
– Bay leaves – yellow
– Barberry (bark) – yellow
– Crocus – yellow
– Fustic – yellow
– Saffron (stigmas) – yellow – set with Alum.
– Safflower (flowers, soaked in water) – yellow
– Sassafras (bark)- yellow
– Syrian Rue (glows under black light)
–Red Clover (whole blossom, leaves and stem) alum mordant – gold
– Yellow cone flower (whole flower head); chrome mordant; Brass to Greeney-Brass.
– Onion (skins) – set with Alum.
– Alfalfa (seeds) – yellow
– Marigold (blossoms) – yellow
– Willow (leaves)
– Queen Anne’s Lace
– Heather– (plant) – yellow
– St. John’s Wort – (flowers & leaves) – gold/yellow
– Celery (leaves)
– Golden Rod (flowers)
– Sumac (bark) – The inner pith of Sumac branches can produce a super bright yellow color.
– Weld (bright yellow)
– Old man’s beard lichen – yellow/brown/orange shades
– Oregon-grape roots – yellow
– Cameleon plant (golden)
– Mimosa– (flowers) yellow
– Dandelion flower
– Osage Orange also known as Bois d’arc or hedgeapple (heartwood, inner bark, wood, shavings or sawdust) (pale yellow)
– Daffodil flower heads (after they have died); alum mordant
– Mullen (leaf and root) pale yellow. *careful, because the little fuzzy hairs can make one itchy!
– Hickory leaves (yellow) if plenty of leaves are boiled and salt added.
– Tea ( ecru color)
– Yellow, Curly, Bitter, or Butter Dock (despite various leaf shapes, all have a bright yellow taproot) gives you a yellow/flesh color.
– White mulberry tree (bark) Cream color onto white or off-white wool. Alum mordant.
– Paprika -pale yellow – light orange)
– Peach (leaves) – yellow
– Beetroot (yellow) (alum & K2Cr2O7)
– Turmeric (spice) –bright yellow
– Oxallis (wood sorrels) (flowers) – the one with the yellow flowers. Use the flower heads, some stem ok. It is nearly fluorescent yellow, and quite colorfast on alum mordanted wool.
If the oxalis flowers are fermented or if a small dash of cloudy ammonia is added to the dyebath (made alkaline) the fluorescent yellow becomes fluorescent orange. Usually I do this as an after-bath, once I have the initial colour. Useful for shifting the dye shade, and some good surprises in store!
– Dahlia Flowers (Red, yellow, orange flowers) make a lovely yellow to orange dye for wool.
–Mulga Acacia -(flowers) – yellow
– Sunflowers – (flowers) – yellow
– Dyer’s Greenwood (shoots) – yellow
– Tansy (tops) – yellow
– Yarrow – yellow and gold
Just to remind, the source for this information is: http://www.pioneerthinking.com/crafts/crafts-basics/naturaldyes.html