Saturday, April 07, 2012

Spring Eggs, Birds, Flowers and More

It wouldn't be Easter weekend without colouring eggs even though there are no small children in the house to help me. I have wanted to try natural dyes for a long time and finally got around to doing it. The results were worth the effort. Here is the method for each colour.

Yellow- This was the fastest and easiest to do. Boil 2 tbsp of turmeric in 2 cups of water, let it cool and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar per cup of liquid. The eggs coloured up in less than 5 minutes. Be careful with this colour as turmeric stains everything it comes in contact with.

Blue- Boil one cup chopped purple cabbage in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Drain liquid, cool and add 1 tbsp of vinegar per cup of liquid. The eggs took at least 20 minutes to colour and apparently if you leave them overnight, they will turn a darker blue.

Orangey/brown- Boil one cup of yellow onion skins in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Drain, cool and add 1 tbsp of vinegar per cup of liquid. This worked quickly and coloured the eggs in 5-10 minutes. I liked this colour best. You can get a different colour with red onion skins.

Pink- Boil 1 large cut up beet in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Drain, cool and add 1 tbsp vinegar per cup of liquid. This took longer to work and the pink was quite pale.

I went for a walk in the woods today and came across an American Robin who was missing some colour. This leucistic bird was with a mate who had normal feathers.

I found many spring wildflowers blooming well ahead of their usual May appearances, particularily in protected areas with a southern exposure. The temperatures have been more seasonal lately but we have had no significant precipitation for weeks. 

Wild Ginger in bloom

The leaves on the forest floor are very dry and I noticed a lot of rustling as I walked along the trails. Numerous garter snakes were about doing their spring business which was the same business the birds and flowers were engaged in...reproduction.

I used to run when I saw a snake, but running is no longer something I do easily. So I have to stand my ground and take a deep breath to deal with my serpent-generated adrenaline rush. And they were kind of pretty in their own way too.


  1. Those eggs look fabulous.

  2. Gorgeous eggs! Thanks for the instructions.

    I'm not a fan of snakes, either, garter snakes included. Ugh.

    Wishing you blessings for your Easter (which it already is, here in Korea).

  3. Ruth - your eggs are absolutely beautiful. Even though I'm partial to orange...all those colours are very rich.

    I too have been hitting the trails in the hopes of finding some early arrivals...all though I have not spotted anything it sure is nice getting out there in this weather.

    Congrats on conquerring you fear of snakes...slow and baby steps and before you know there will be a photo of you with a big boa wrapped around your neck- lol


  4. You are too funny, Cheryl. Looking at a 10 inch snake through the zoom lens of my camera and having boa around my neck is a leap to the moon! Happy Easter. Enjoy all that good food you made and the time with your family :-)

  5. The natural dye colors turned out nice. At first I thought they were just the usual variety of different kinds of chickens' eggs.

    Not much for snakes either, but I don't run screaming anymore, or handle them, but try to take a photo.

  6. Thanks for the new word -- leucistic. So sorry I won't be able to remember it.


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