"Mom! I found a mushroom! Come and look!" My little ones are often calling me from across the yard to check out their finds. It isn't often that my oldest, the teeeeenager, does so when he beckoned me the other day, I was curious as to what he found.
He showed me a large yellow and brown mushroom at the base of a pine tree. I stood there thinking "I know this mushroom, I know this mushroom..." I hadn't ever seen one in person before but a quick look online confirmed that the boy had found a Phaeolus Schweinitzii, or the Dyer's Polypore.
I quickly finished my chores so I could chop this mushroom up and put it in the dye pot. I simmered the chunks in water for about an hour while I mordanted some wool with alum. When the dye seemed ready to go I let my wool, some silk, and a length of cotton floss steep in the hot dye. After it had cooled I pulled from the dye pot an amazing mustard yellow that I love.
I did a second batch and got wonderful results once again. I ran out of dyeing time so I froze the rest of the mushroom chunks to try again later.
I read that it's possible that the Dyer's Polypore may fruit again in the same spot so I'll be watching that pine again next year. The presence of the mushroom is also bad news for the tree so it's likely that it will soon be firewood.
Have a great weekend, everyone.