Sunday, July 10, 2011
Summer dyeings and butterflies Kesävärjäyksiä ja perhosia
Again this summer I have dyepots in the greenhouse, madder, fermenting buckthorn bark, oak bark and walnuts. I have solar dye jars, and again this summer I try to get indigo fermentation vat to succeed, which I haven't managed last summer or summer before that. The temperature had varied too much, or it had been too low, or pH had dropped too low, or all those reasons, anyway, it has never worked. Now DH dug the big vat in the ground so that the temperature would be more even. During the night I cover it with a piece polystyrene, and it does keep the temperature higher than without it.
Smelly old madder baths or mushrooms seem to be good for other things besides dyeing: first time ever we have seen both Purple Emperor (Apatura iris) and Lesser Purple Emperor (Apatura ilia) butterflies. They have been very rare in Finland, occuring only occasionally in the south coast, but last summer there were more of them and it seems they are here this summer, too.They don't feed on flowers but prefer rotting things, and clearly they consider my madder pot delicious:) One even walked on it when it was hot! The pictures don't show how big and beautiful butterflies they really are, but we are excited about them.
Some flowers in my garden (not for dyeing), white Lychnis chalcedonica and Delphiniums.