Last week I walked the forest in search of pinecones to make into ornaments for our Christmas tree. I imagined an abundance of cones around the base of trees ready for the picking, but when I got there, I was too late—the squirrels had beaten me to it. Like foraging for mushrooms, my search started very slowly while my eyes became sensitive to the tessellated forms of pinecones in the forest, but soon enough they were everywhere, some requiring a bit of a climb or a jump to reach. Most exciting was discovering so many pinecones that were remarkably different from one another: short, long, spikey, delicate, sappy, robust, fat with many soft geometric scales, and narrow cones with fewer rigid scales. In all, I harvested nine different types of pinecones to bring home.
Applying glue with a small paintbrush in a downward motion made the task of glittering them go quickly. After they dried, they were tied with string and ready to hang on the tree. Tie them onto one long string with others to make garland around window and doorframes, or put them into bowls to be showcased around the house. Even without glitter I find them mesmerizing and their patterns a wonder to observe, so I kept many au naturel.