Windfall Walnuts

We took a road trip down the Great River Road last week, following the Mississippi down the Wisconsin side.




At a roadside stop we stumbled upon a grove of Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) trees, with oodles of windfall walnuts. Lucky for me! This tree is native to eastern North America, including SE Minnesota/western Wisconsin.

I filled my bag, which yielded approx. 6 lbs. of hulls, 5 lbs of which I froze (recommended by J. M. Niles). Some of them were almost as big as apples!


I soaked the hulls in rainwater along with a splash of vinegar overnight, simmered them and then dyed some wool and silk samples. Results later this week.


Peak leaves and great destination

If you are considering a drive up north to see the leaves this weekend, I recommend you stop by the Ripple River Gallery, near Aitkin, MN on Saturday, October 2nd. It’s about a 2-hour drive north of the Twin Cities.

The gallery is hosting a Fall Open House & Raku Firing! You can find details here. There is also a wonderful woodworking show on display in the gallery.
You will see Mille Lacs Lake on the way…

… and many colorful leaves at their peak

You might see the fearless deer that were grazing in Bob & Amy’s yard on Wednesday.



You’ll experience the warm hospitality of the owners, Bob Carls, wood turner, and Amy Sharpe, weaver and gallery manager.



I dropped off  a few runners and pillows, including this new rabbit pillow.

bunny pillow