poetry and prose about place

jane 9 squirrels 1

with 4 comments

Again, I am in competition with the squirrels (see ‘competing with the squirrels #1 and #2’, in the Category ‘competing for niche space’). 

Christmas is coming and this year, I am decorating with natural elements.  One of these is a ceramic bowl of large pine cones. 

We have several large White Pine (Pinus Strobus L.) on our property and from time to time, they produce masses of beautiful pine cones, perfect for my decorations.  White Pine are easy to remember in this area, since they have their needles in bundles of five.  The cones are between 10 and 15 cm long and are a favourite food for squirrels.   

My husband came in last weekend and announced there were lots of the big cones in the pine tree next to our lawn. “Watch for them to fall, and then you should hurry to collect them,” said my savvy husband (he remembers the sad tale of the ripening hazelnuts). 

I waited a couple of days and then went scavenging.  And now, I am supreme.  I have gathered enough cones for our Christmas.  I saw a few cones with the lower scales and seeds nibbled away, but I found plenty for me.   My hands were sticky, true, but I was so happy.  All I can say is, with an emphasis approaching smug, “CH-CH-Ch-chchchchch-ch.”

just to show that the squirrels do have lots of pine nuts… these cones are about half eaten


in November


we gather pine cones

snakes of lion’s paw


cedar boughs

and holly

we walk the wild ways

pruners and scissors

baskets and stout cord

bind bunches

of branches

balsam and cedar  

blood berries

and evergreen

garlands of fir

rosehips and acorns, gilded


and prickles

and thorns


©  Jane Tims 2011

4 Responses

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  1. Enjoyed your post, Jane! The white pines are so beautiful.


    Ellen Grace Olinger

    November 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

    • Hi Ellen. Thanks. I like the white pines too, especially a huge one back of our garage. Jane


      jane tims

      November 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm

  2. This is lovely! Made me think I was walking through a winter garden while reading it. 😉


    Eve Redwater

    November 27, 2011 at 8:18 am

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