Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Browsing Deer

Timing is everything.  Tonight I was sitting outside on the porch skirting a Rambouillet fleece that will be processed into yarn.  It's a nice spot to work since you can see the sheep if they're grazing in the front pasture.  I saw Claire with long ears pricked & looking attentively at something in the distance.   Following her gaze led to this whitetail doe browsing on the sumac leaves.  They don't really mind being near the sheep, but Claire's approach will usually run them off. 
A little research into natural dyestuffs found that sumac leaves contain tannin, which is especially useful for dyeing vegetable fibers.  We dye wool fibers, so I don't have experience with using sumac leaves.  Tannins are currently being studied for their natural de-worming properties.  So maybe there is something about the deer eating the leaves if they can reach them ......

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