nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘yellow

three yellows

with 3 comments

On Sunday, we went for a drive along New Brunswick Route 615, eventually travelling from Mactaquac to Nackawic. A pleasant drive, climbing into the hills of this part of New Brunswick.

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Early into our drive, a theme suggested itself … the yellow flowers of spring. These included the daffodil and the blazing Forsythia (Forsythia sp.) … a deciduous shrub with copious yellow blooms.

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Another yellow flower crowding the edges of almost every ditch, was Tussilago farfara or Coltsfoot.  The flowers have been in bloom a couple of weeks and will soon set their white fluffy seed. After the flowers have faded, the leaves will appear, big green ears seemingly unrelated to the yellow flowers of spring.

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At the foot of a farmer’s field, we saw another yellow flower, usually found in wooded wet areas or in hardwoods. The mottled green and purple leaves are the first identifying feature. Close-up, the nodding yellow flower with its recurved petals and drooping stamens show this is the Dog’s Tooth Violet, or Yellow Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum).

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Today, my yellow tulips are blooming, yet another addition to the yellow flowers of this season.

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All my best,

Jane 

Written by jane tims

May 15, 2019 at 11:11 am

mustard electric

with 8 comments

More painting going on. Trying to capture some of our dramatic New Brunswick landscape.

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This summer we drove through the rural countryside near Millville and loved the brilliant yellow mustard fields.

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This painting is called ‘mustard electric’, 24″ by 20″, acrylic, gallery edges, painted with Hansa yellow, Ultramarine blue, Titanium white. When I had it in the living room, it was impossible to ignore, its blast of yellow lingering in the peripheral vision!

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September 10, 2016 ‘mustard electric’ near Millville, N.B. Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

September 28, 2016 at 7:02 am

harvesting yellow … yes, yellow!

with 6 comments

After so many lovely browns in my palette of natural dyes, I have despaired of seeing anything but brown when I lift my wool roving from the dye pot.   A friend suggested I try Goldenrod (Solidago sp.).   Goldenrod, in a variety of species, is plentiful along the roads this time of year.  So, this week, on a drive to see our newly opened section of Route 8, we stopped long enough to collect a bag of Goldenrod.

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Goldenrod along the new highway

Goldenrod along the new highway

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Collecting Goldenrod is new to me.  I am always worried it may cause hay-fever, but I learned during my fact-finding – Goldenrod is rarely responsible for triggering allergies.  Its pollen is large and heavy and transported by insects and not the wind.  Ragweed is the real culprit, according to my reading.

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a glory of Solidago

a glory of Solidago

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I also took a crash course in Goldenrod identification – Goldenrods have always stayed on my ‘refuse to identify’ list.  They are actually quite easy to distinguish in our area.  There are only 14 common species in New Brunswick and identification points include the size and number of basal leaves, leaf venation, the degree of stem hairiness and the general shape of the inflorescence.  It was easy to discover the name of the species I collected – Downy Goldenrod (Solidago puberula Nutt.)

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a bag of Goldenrod took no time at all to collect

a bag of Goldenrod took no time at all to collect

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The collecting experience?  Bright and very aromatic.  Smelling Goldenrod is like stuffing your nose in a dandelion.

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I had lots of material to work with, so preparing the pot of dyestuff was enjoyable too.  And the smell as it boiled – very sweet.  Most of the plants I’ve used for dyestuff have an unpleasant smell like boiling cabbage.

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Goldenrod added to the dyepot

Goldenrod added to the dye pot

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The result was a yellow dye.

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the yellow dye of Solidago

the yellow dye of Solidago

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But since the colour of the dye seems unrelated to the resulting colour of the wool, my expectations were low.  Imagine my joy when the wool emerged from the dye-bath a beautiful lemony yellow!

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wool roving, treated with alum and simmered for an hour in Goldenrod dye

wool roving, treated with alum and simmered for an hour in Goldenrod dye

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Yellow!  Sigh.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 29, 2014 at 7:08 am

harvesting colour – the yellow of tansy

with 10 comments

Since last September, a small bunch of Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.) has hung on the line in my kitchen.  Now, with a small batch of alum-treated wool, I am able to see what colour will come from the dried and lifeless flowers.

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dried Tansy, collected in 2013

dried Tansy, collected in 2013

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To extract the dye, I crumbled the flowers and leaves and soaked them in water overnight.  Then I added more water and brought them slowly to a boil in my big, well-marked dyepot (marked so I will not use it for food by mistake).  After an hour’s boil, I let the dye cool and strained the liquid.  The result was a clear, amber-yellow dye.

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dye from Tansy and water, simmered

dye from Tansy and water, simmered

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To dye the wool, I added water, immersed a shank of alum-treated wool and slowly brought the dye to a simmer – one hour and then the long process of cooling (I am realising that dyeing is more about waiting than doing!!!!!!!!!!!). The result is a green-yellow, almost exactly the colour shown for Tansy-dyed fibre in Jenny Dean’s book (Wild Color) !!!  My photo is not clear because the drying line insists on vibrating but you can clearly see the colours – left to right – the brown of the lichen-dyed wool from a few days ago), the green-yellow of the Tansy-dyed wool and the tan of the undyed wool.

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three shanks of wool, dyed with the lichen Usnea (left), dyed with Tansy (center) and raw wool (treated with alum)

three shanks of wool, dyed with the lichen Usnea (left), dyed with Tansy (center) and raw wool (treated with alum)

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I wrote my poem to the heady yet sleepy smells of the Tansy boiling in its dye pot.  I remembered the living Tansy, growing in the ditch last summer, each flower cluster hiding a sleepy bumblebee that had to be shaken from its resting.  I was also reminded in my reading that Tansy was used so often at funerals in New England in the 19th century that people associated its smell with death.

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Tansy in the ditch

Tansy in the ditch

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sleep before dyeing

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Tanacetum vulgare L. – Common Tansy, Mugwort, Bitter Buttons

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Bitter Buttons hover in the dye pot

simmering on the kitchen stove

drowsy scent of camomile

camphor and rosemary

liquid amber, saffron sallow

jaundiced pale of Tansy

reclines in the roadside ditch

each flat-topped cluster

hibernaculum

for a furred and yellow

unconcerned

and mellow

bumblebee

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Copyright  2014   Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

April 7, 2014 at 7:00 am

harvesting colour – onion skin yellow

with 10 comments

About a month ago, I stuffed an old white cotton shirt into a pickle jar with onion skins and cider vinegar (https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/harvesting-colour-onion-skins-in-a-pickle-jar/).  It was all I could do not to open the jar early to see how everything was progressing, but I was patient.  On Friday, I opened the jar to see the results!

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the pickle jar containing cider vinegar, my old shirt, and a few handfuls of onion skins

 

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cotton shirt and onion skins released to the sink

cotton shirt and onion skins released to the sink

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onion skins picked away to reveal yellow and maroon

onion skins picked away to reveal yellow and maroon

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a rinse with water

a rinse with water

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and my 'new' shirt hanging on the line to dry!

and my ‘new’ shirt hanging on the line to dry!

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I am so pleased with the results.  The yellows are bright and an old shirt is wearable again.  The dried cloth is soft and smells clean and fresh.  And, most important, I have another poem to add to my growing collection.

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transformation

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cotton shirt

soft and comfortable

but stained, unwearable

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stuffed into

a pickle jar

onion skin and vinegar

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thirty days –

yellow cheer,

saffron and sienna

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stains concealed

tears dried

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

April 2, 2014 at 6:58 am

the colour of October #2 (Tansy yellow)

with 4 comments

So many colours!  The orange of the big pumpkin on our doorstep.  The reds and yellows of the Red Maple leaves in piles under our feet.  The bright white of the moon this month.  The golden colour of the needles of the Tamarack now falling with every breath of wind.

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The colour that has inspired me this week is the yellow of Tansy  (Tansy vulgare L.) still bright along the road in Fredericton. The flowers are like brilliant yellow buttons.

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I couldn’t duplicate the colour with the yellows in my watercolour palette, but after layers of alternating yellow and white, I have realised how wonderful the yellows of nature really are!

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October 27, 2013   'Tansy'   Jane Tims

October 27, 2013 ‘Tansy’ Jane Tims

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In a month’s time, the bright yellow heads of the Tansy will be black!

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

October 30, 2013 at 7:09 am

a moment of beautiful – traffic lights

with 8 comments

the space:  above the roadway, at an intersection, in the fog

the beautiful:  green, yellow and red traffic lights, seeming to hover, like jewels in the fog

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Traffic lights!!! Beautiful???  Perhaps you will never agree.  But I think those lights, when seen on a foggy day, suspended as if from the sky itself, are as beautiful as jewels.  Emerald, topaz and ruby.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

March 14, 2012 at 6:50 am

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