this moment :: two


{  this moment  }
A single photo
~ no words ~
capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
~ SouleMama


*inspired by the Friday reflections at Amanda's
and Kim Klassen's 'Friday Finds'


Lobsters from the forest


So, the other evening an email arrives and in it, photographs
of a most unusual mushroom, something I'd never seen before.
My friend who lives in the center of the island has them growing in their woods
and he wrote to say that while harvesting [Mrs. likes to cook with them],
his hands turned orange.
I was practically giddy considering the dye pot possibilities,
as he probably knew I would be.
Very nice of my friends to think of me at times like this!

Thanks to some quick internet research, "Lobster" dyeing started to seem,
well, a little less strange.

Hypomyces lactifluorumor Lobster mushroom, is not actually a mushroom at all.
From Wikipedia:

Lobster mushroom is not a mushroom, but rather
a parasitic ascomycete that grows on mushrooms, turning them
a reddish orange color that resembles the outer shell of a
cooked lobster.  It colonizes members of the genera
Lactarius (Milk-caps) and Russula ... in North America.
At maturity, H. lactifluorum thoroughly covers its host,
rendering it unidentifiable.

A quick jaunt and a full shopping bag later and I was ready for business.
My kind & generous friends wished me well
as I set myself towards home.  The laborious task of chopping away all the color
from the stalks was about to begin ...

and then came the waiting for the [watched] pot to boil ...

then I waited and waited and waited
for the dye bath to turn orange.

Much to my dismay, the color from this gosh-awful-rank-smelling broth
[after cooking for well over an hour] was nothing but a pale, tawny gold.


Not a chance I was going to let all that chopping go to waste [two nylon knee
stockings stuffed to the gills], so having read someplace
that 'shrooms are particularly sensitive to pH, I decided
to play around and see if I could get this brew to go
way, way alkaline ...

Lobster rolls, anyone?

Now I was gettin' somewhere.  In went the test strips of silk, initially
turning a delicate shade of pink ... yawn ...
but with a bit more time
and a little more alkalinity [aka ordinary kitchen baking soda]
you may be quite surprised to see what became of the color ...






Take THAT, you lobsters.

A certain dawg around here was highly interested in the "fragrant" bundles
[paw prints above ... sure sign of a nose on patrol]
Fortunately, the smell completely disappears once the cloths dry.
Now THAT  is  a miracle.
If you're not a fan of fishy smells, this may not be your dye of choice;
the stench is overpowering, I kid you not.  And don't even consider for one second
cooking up a batch anywhere other than outside - although on second thought
this may be quite useful in ridding oneself of an annoying roommate.

Since having India 'round these parts to pull various rabbits out of her sleeves
and offer up a host of helpful tidbits about her working methods,
I've adopted a change or two to my former habits.  For instance,
I no longer stir the bundles in my dye pots, thus assuring each one gets even coverage.
[why in the world would you want that?, she wondered]
Why do that when some of the most interesting marks come from being
partially submerged?  Duh.  Photo above for example ... driftwood floats so the top side
of the cloth above the water line shows little color while underneath
it soaked up the dye like crazy.

Unrolled it's even more obvious ....
yup, no more stirring.

My friend tells me the Lobsters don't appear every year ... in fact,
he hadn't seen them for a few years.  Just to secure a little bit of the future,
I scattered the leavings in my own woods in hopes that one day
some parasitic wonders will appear on my own patch.
Maybe one day I can return the favor.



Don't ever let nobody ....


Been doin' some personal soul searching of late.

Oh yeah, there's been fog - mental fog - and a whole heap
of other stuff
that didn't feel too good either.

But as always, been tryin' to look for the light [metaphorically speaking]
while I'm lookin' for a way out

or up.

It can be a long slog sometimes,
bringin' on the most unexpected feelings;
a whole slurry of mixed emotions,
and thoughts from way over there on the dark side
where I just don't like to stay for very long


it was a great relief
when the link for this joyous video came flying into my mailbox

Eric Bibb beltin' out some truths with "Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down"

Have a listen yourself ... I will guarantee
no matter how you're feelin' right now
you'll feel way better after
a heapin' helping of Mr. Bibb.

{ note:  sounds real good turned up LOUD }