Out on a walk it doesn’t take long before you notice hairy stringy turquoise greenish plants clinging to tree branches, scattered on the ground, clumps of them in the woods on the shrubs. You’ll also see long stringy moss hanging from the tree trunks that will be covered with a variety of mosses. These interesting shaped growths fascinate me and I can’t resist sketching them. When they are fresh and living, they are soft to the touch; then, after they are detached from their base and can no longer receive the nutrients to survive they become stiff and dry.
Amazingly, lichen makes a beautiful light yellow dye for wool fleece. First the lichen has to dry for several days then I place the dried lichen in a pot with my wool fleece, turn up the gas to boiling point and immediately turn down the gas to prevent the boiling from felting the fleece. Let it cool in the pot before taking out the fleece to rinse and hang to dry.