Tag Archives: Trees

Mandala Monday ~ Pinecones

This past week I braved the elements and spent a little time playing around with pinecones in the snow…

This mandala is on a much smaller scale than the others I’ve made.  My back was still a bit sore from shoveling, so I stood at my potting bench rather than stooping and bending (not to mention, sitting on the cold ground in the snow 😉), so there wasn’t as much room to create anything very large.  To give you an idea on the scale, the small pinecones around the center are about the size of the fingernail of my pinkie finger.  They’re sooo tiny and cute!  And here’s a little fun fact – I collected them (and the majority of the other pinecones I used in this mandala) while on a walk with my daughter while she was in labor. 😊 It wasn’t a very long walk, seeing as she was in labor, but clearly we walked past a wonderful variety of evergreens.  I love all the various sizes and shapes of pinecones and was fortunate to come across so many of them in such a short distance.

As the glory of the colorful leaves of the deciduous trees of autumn fades, various evergreens now take center stage.  Extra lovely and so refreshing sprinkled with fresh snow.  I love the scent of cedar and pine.


Wishing you a refreshing week…




✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Tree Star Wishes

“Star light, star bright, the first star I see tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.”

Oops… that’s for wishing on a different kind of star.

Let me try this again…

Tree Star abiding in branches up high, your bright autumn color catches my eye. 

As you grace the boughs of this beautiful tree, please grant these three autumn wishes to me…

 For trees lit with radiant colorful hues, a feast for my hungry eyes to consume.

For crisp autumn days,  alive with the sun’s golden rays.

And for clear starry nights, warmed by a bonfire’s cozy light.

© Julie Rehnelt 2013

DSCF1862a ~

I know this is rather silly, and I don’t in actuality go walking around wishing upon the leaves in the trees, but the shot of this leaf just reminded me so much of a star that I started hearing that old nursery rhyme in my head, and then my brain came up with a poem about making autumn wishes on a tree star.  Silly how the mind works.  Silly how mine works anyway…

May all your wishes (be they autumn related or otherwise) be granted today.

Peace & Love…

Amidst My Branches

Amidst my branches is protection, a shelter from the storm

 beneath them a shady place to rest, for when you’re feeling worn.

In them you can hide, if ever danger happens by

safe and secure they’ll keep you, lifted up on high.

© Julie Rehnelt 2013



If you look really closely you can just make out the little squirrel that was peering down at me from this tree, along with only the tail of one of its siblings as they were scurrying around on the branches.

The baby squirrels that I mentioned in my post “To Garden, or to Blog About Garden: That is the Question…”  that I saw being carried by their mother into the hollow of my tree, have been an absolute delight to me this spring!  I love little creatures of all sorts and watching these baby squirrels frolicking right outside my bedroom window was such a wonderful experience for me.  They were beyond cute, they were downright adorable!

On several different occasions I tried to photograph them, and early on I was able to catch some, but once they ventured out and left the safety of their hole, they were quick little scamps, so it was quite a challenge to capture any decent shots of them.  Anyway, here are a few of my favorites…


This is one of the earliest pictures I got.  For the longest time there was always just one of them looking out at me…


But eventually…


I was so excited when I finally saw two of them poking out at the same time.  I was freaking out and shouting to my mom and my daughter “little double heads!”  Haha, yeah it doesn’t take much…  😉


I wish the quality of this one had turned out better, but it’s still one of my favorites because I love their pose.  ♥



Gradually they began to venture out…

DSCF0203a - Copy

And up…


They were so cautious at first, clinging closely to the bark for dear life…


But before long they became more and more brave and were soon doing all sorts of interesting (if not frightening) acrobatics.  I was afraid for them a few times and even worried that they might fall, but thankfully they never did.


There were four of them in all and each had its own little personality.  There were two of them who were the most adventurous ~ Gray Guy and Brown Face.  Hah I know, I’m so unimaginative with what I named them.   😉



Other than the photo above, it was really hard to catch a picture with more than only one of them in the shot at a time except for when they were in their hole, so I was pleased to capture this one.  Upstairs and downstairs…


The other two babies were at the very top of the tree, but unfortunately from my vantage point at the window I couldn’t get all four of them in.


They knew I was watching them and almost always had at least one of their eyes on me as they were going about their exploring…


I wonder what they thought of me.  Probably that I was some strange cyborg creature with a camera stuck to the front of my face.  😉


“I spy with my little eye” something gray.  Click, caught ya!



Peek-a-boo Timid Little One, I see you too…



It’s hard to tell just how tiny these little guys really were from the pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.  Gosh, it was fun watching them, and  I miss them now that they’re gone.  😦   The photo at the beginning with the poem was the last I saw of them.  But I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to watch this precious little family of squirrels Amidst My Branches.  ♥

Of course, with regard for my garden… I don’t miss them that much and I’m hoping I never see them again.  Just kidding.  Kinda.   😉


Among My Branches

In the mornings I like to sit and look out the windows of my room while drinking my coffee.  I have a huge Sycamore tree right outside that my Grandpa planted way back in the 1940’s, and its branches basically cover the span of all three of my bedroom windows.  It’s an odd shaped, but interesting looking tree, they are not commonly grown here in Minnesota so I feel special to have one.  The branches are barren right now in the winter, well except for when they are  covered with snow, 😉 but when I moved back home here this past fall its branches were filled with gigantic leaves that filtered the light in through my windows so beautifully.

Aside from the tree itself, one of the other things I really enjoy about it is watching the little creatures that sometimes occupy its branches.  Two of my favorite species of birds, the Cardinal and the Chickadee often come to visit and it’s always such a delight to watch them flit about.  I wish they’d sit still long enough for me to snap a picture of them, but they are busy little things and always on a mission.

However, I did manage to catch this shot of a huge crow cawing the other day…CrowSeriously, the size of this thing was massive!

Crows are not a favorite bird of mine, but they are really cool and also quite intelligent.  My daughter says she is going to try “befriending” one this summer, but not if I have anything to say about that, I don’t need crows coming around bothering my vegetable garden this summer.  I had enough trouble with squirrels!

And speaking of squirrels, those of you who have been following my blog for a while may remember some of the trouble I had with a certain particular squirrel, an evil, diabolical, and thieving little creature who really gave me a hard time in my garden.  First it was just digging holes in “Adventures in Gardening Part 11 ~ Darn Squirrels!”  and then once harvest time came it got downright ugly in “Adventures in Gardening Part 31 ~ That Thieving Squirrel: the Epic Battle Continues…”

I recommend reading both of those posts to give you some background on what I’m going to say next here because the funny thing is…  I grew to become quite fond of that naughty little squirrel.  Seems impossible, I know, after joking around about ways in which to dispose of the little thief and sharing about my recurring nightmares about squirrels, but once I put my garden to bed for the winter, and began spending my mornings in front of my bedroom windows with my coffee, I became fondly attached to him in watching him prepare his home for the winter in the trunk of my tree.  Scurrying among the branches, gathering those giant Sycamore leaves in his tiny little paws, and rushing off to stuff them into his hole = sooo cute!  Those grubby, thieving, little paws that once made me so angry became so adorable and so much fun to watch.  You know, I really do love all little creatures, even the ones that make me mad.

Well, the other day, the day that I caught that photo of the crow, I think my squirrel got run over by a car.  😦  I can’t be for sure that it was him, but for days and days now while I’ve been sitting in front of my windows having my morning coffee, I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him.  I joked around about wishing he’d get run over back when he was stealing my vegetables, but now I am so sad at the thought of it.  RIP “Little Thief” (as he has now has been named), I will miss your cute little antics.  Well, not your vegetable stealing ones, of course.  😉

So now, after many days since Little Thief’s untimely death, I think someone new is considering moving in because look what I just saw…DSCF0210bMr. Opportunity, no doubt.  And that is as he shall now be named.


He’s not as cute as Little Thief (not that I can really tell the difference ;)) and I have resolved that I will not become attached to him, other than for practicing my photography skills on him as he dwells among my branches.DSCF0216bAnd I must say, I am quite proud of this shot.  😀


Ahh Nature…

I went to sleep last night to the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves on the trees.  As I lay there in the dark listening, feeling the sensation of a cool breeze coming in through my open window and lightly brushing up against my skin, I imagined the boughs of the tree branches swaying back and forth in the wind against the night sky.  It was one of the most peaceful feelings I’ve had in a long time.

Of course, wouldn’t you know that as I’m writing this… I’m hearing not only one, but two yapping dogs, a noisy garbage truck, and a train going by.  Kinda wrecks the mood here I’m trying to elaborate on.  Wait, this might help…

It’s not exactly the visual I’m going for here, but the audio is pretty accurate.  🙂

If there is one thing that I really get off on, it’s the sounds and sights of nature.  Somehow it has a way of not only relaxing me, but also giving me an acute heightened sense of awareness.  And I love it.

I feel like I’ve been so busy lately.  Some people thrive on it, but I hate being busy.  I am the type of person who really needs my down time to sit and contemplate and reflect on things.  Unfortunately, right now all I’m reflecting on is how much I want the neighbor’s dog to stop yapping so I can write, and contemplating how to make it stop.  Not even my headphones are drowning out the sound…

Ugh, I can see this just isn’t going to work right now, I’ll have to get back to you at another time on all of the inspiring epiphanies I had about the wind last night.


But before I go…

How’s this for the “sights” of nature?  Here’s a photo of the gigantic spider that I found in my garden last night.  Eek!My daughter was completely mesmerized watching this thing construct its web (from inside the house) and then faced her fears and went out to take this photo of it.

I, on the other hand, while usually inspired and in awe of all types of nature, could only think of one thing… how am I going to get to my garden goodies with this monstrosity setting up its hunting grounds in my garden?  Yes, yes, I know it’s a wonderful thing to have spiders in your garden blah, blah, blah, but I happen to be completely and utterly terrified of them.  I am not joking, this is serious, I’m talking arachnophobia here ~ it’s a little hard for me to even look at this photo.

After posting a cry for help on Facebook (because all three of us were too afraid to go near it), a good friend of mine came over and rescued me.  She took “Jack” (the name my daughter had given the spider) and gently deposited him on some lovely plantings in the parking lot of the store across the street.  Even she was surprised at the size of it, but she was fearless and handled that thing like boss!  She’s my hero!


Things have quieted down here now.  No more barking dogs, the garbage has been picked up, and the train has moved on further down the tracks toward its destination, but I’m hungry, so I’m off to try and scrounge up some food around here.  I’m not hopeful of finding much, as all I really do at my apartment anymore is sleep and shower.  And try to write…  😉

Y’all have a wonderful day!