Back to seeds…
The beauty of seeds is that they can become. What? Something of beauty perhaps. Many seeds are beautiful themselves. Today I was noticing the seeds in the yard.
I will save some of the sunflower and poppy seeds. That sunflower plant had over 70 flower heads all at once. There are so many. The birds love them too and we share them. The poppies were so successful this year and gave much delight to all who saw them. And so easy. I really didn’t have to do anything at all except cast them out at the right time. Nature did the rest. Next year, if you drive by you’ll know the house for all the poppies. The seed heads for both the sunflowers and poppies are in the drying and maturing stage. Some will just drop on their own and surprise me next year. Faithful volunteers.
Yesterday, I went to present myself and my “career” for Career Day at a South LA Elementary school. First, I want to say that the kids were great. They are like little sponges that soak things up. They were enthusiastic. Turns out- the school does have two mulberry trees on its campus. Just no memory of why. I think I can solve that. Next year, I will get some silkworms started early- just when the mulberry leafs out. Plant some silk seeds and water them into fertile ground there. As for explaining my “career” to the kids-it was challenging, funny, and informative. I only had 30 minutes with each of the 4 classes. Most of the time was spent talking about silk and silkworms. I brought a tray of them-still so tiny. We cut open the cocoons and saw the pupae inside. I passed around a hank of reeled filament silk, mawata, yarn, kibisu and more. I showed them the cocoon frames-both straw and cardboard. They all took home a cocoon and a square of silk. Three classes were 3rd graders and one was 4th grade. Trevor had 4th and 5th graders and did 5 sessions. His kids learned to play a couple of rhythms with straws at their desks with him playing bells. This K-5 has no dedicated art or instrumental music teacher.
Unfortunately, I must report that the silkworms are not thriving. This is the latest I have ever started them. I really wanted them for the career day event and was taking a bit of a chance. Although there is green mulberry leaf here it is not new and succulent. It is just too dry. We had rain earlier this season but has been very dry for over a month now. El Nino did not arrive in the south this year as predicted. Moving on…sadly.
But fortunately, my friend Nobue Higashi in Annaka, Japan is having a very successful cocoon rearing season. I recently watched this NHK short video on a visit to her place there. I couldn’t find one video of the entire episode and this one repeats but you can see the portion of the show in which they visit her.
A long hot dry summer is ahead. Water will continue to be precious.
There are a few openings left for the indigo and shibori workshop on June 18 & 19. Contact the Japanese American National Museum to sign up. I will have some indigo seeds to share as well.