I collected two large buckets of black walnuts on Saturday afternoon while we were at the farm. Some of them already had the outer husk turning black so upon returning to the church, I rolled them around with my foot on the road to get some of the rotting material off. During all of the handling, my hands got quite dirty. Now I knew that you can use black walnut husk as a natural dye - but let's just say now I really know it! My hands got quite stained during the process and it is slooooow to wear off. Yesterday while at work, I was pointing to an item on a report and I could see my co-worker's eyes widen in surprise at the state of my hands. I explained that I was working with dyes - sometimes it is better to not go into the food gleaning endeavors with co-workers.
I read this on the train this morning.
The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg
The end of the chapter on September
The weight of the afternoon sun already falls more lightly on my back than it did a few weeks ago. The days seem not only shorter but also somehow thinner too, and every morning that dawns above freezing feels like a morning won back from the inevitable. Nothing is dry yet, of course, but the promise of eventual dryness is in the air. A day will come when every crown of seeds will rattle on the weeds in ditches and fields, when leaves will crunch obligingly underfoot again.