Forrest Fenn’s Holiday Ornament Contest

LichenSo it’s December 20th and I still hadn’t submitted an entry to the contest over on Dal’s site.  Better late than never, right?  But before I headed out back, I checked the rules once more—hand made of found, natural items—and thereby saw the awesome competition.  Fantastic ornaments.

{Results are in.  Congrats to the talented winners!}

Okay, so clearly I’m not winning this thing but since Forrest is mailing every entrant a bona fide arrowhead from his collection, I’m not not entering.  (BTW you still have time to enter, too.)

I planned on making bells somehow out of pine needles since I hadn’t come up with any other ideas.  You know, Snoopy’s “Christmas bells, those Christmas bells, ringing through the land, Peace on earth and good will to man.”

I booted and bundled up.  It wasn’t long before the hike took its own course.  I got to a pond that was just icing over, bubbles trapped below the surface, took some photos, and proceeded along the frosty edges.  raccoon prints

 

While I took more pictures, the outline beneath the surface finally registered.  Yikes.  An alligator snapping turtle?  It was in shallow water.  Is it hibernating?  Is it even alive?

turtle in ice

A little farther on, I found another one.  It’s much bigger, older cousin maybe.  I didn’t see them this summer, but often enough in summers past to paddle carefully and not tip over the canoe.

turtle 2

 Add those beasts to my list of frightening things.  (Spiders, snakes, prions, and, I forgot to mention, cougars.  One’s been sighted again within twenty miles of here.  Yes, really.)viny

Anyway, on my way to the white pines, I found some twiny, viny stuff for binding, red berries for color, wild grape vines for fun, and all manner of prairie grasses.  A thought started to form in my mind.  Hmm.  One of Forrest’s treasured possessions is Sitting Bull’s Peace Pipe.  Still running with the Peace theme, it began to take shape.  But just in case, I continued to the pines and grabbed cones and needles—brown from the ground, green from the branches torn off by the White tail deer who just love destroying the young trees when their antlers itch.red berries

So, here’s what I brought in the house.

raw materials

 

 

Here’s what I came up with.  (See the authenticated original here.)P1000070

 

 

 

“IMO” (very important words on Dal’s blog) this ornament is small enough and light enough to go on a Christmas tree.  I could prove it, except our tree isn’t up yet.

In fact, it’s still alive and well in the back yard, a beautiful Frazier fir that we planted maybe 7 years ago.  Maybe tomorrow Mr. W will saw it down and bring it in while I bake cookies.  Company’s coming.  I’m not usually this far behind, but it’s hard to say no sometimes.

Besides, I’m “having too much fun!”

milkweed

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