Shortly after Tom and I first met, we spent several days backpacking on the Superior Hiking trail. It was magical adventure as we started to get to know one another. I was so impressed by his knowledge of the woods, geology and his love of the solitude while camping in Northern Minnesota. I think he liked my campfire cooking. I spent many late nights dehydrating food before we left and like making dyes, I love to cook. I like the challenge on the trail to carry in all of your ingredients and make something delicious over a fire. Each year we return to different spots on the trail. I think, the farther north, the better. Put me in the woods in a remote location, totally immersed in nature and I am at my happiest.
If you hit the summer season just right, you will find on Highway 61, hundreds and hundreds of Lupine plants. Every ditch and roadside north of Duluth is full of green and hues of lavender, purple, pinks and white. Some consider these plants evasive or weeds- but I find them to be an amazing treat of summer and is my passage into the deep woods. Within my dye research, I found recipes to make dye from this plant.
Lupine is related to peas- part of the legume genus and is biennial. It reseeds itself, readily and survives well in cool, sunny climates. The color- it should create a soft lime green on wool with alum. Nothing recorded I could find with cotton (what my paper is comprised of). Here’s my results and my painting Wedding Anniversary created with the dye.