Last year Tootie started teaching me how to make pine needle baskets. It’s fun and relaxing. It’s something you can do with a small group and just enjoy the day together. The short needle pine needles aren’t good to try to work with. Long Leaf pines are wonderful! But the problem is that years ago, the forest industry started replacing them with faster growing and producing trees that have short needles. What that means is that there are not nearly as many long leaf trees to be found as there used to be.
We found some places last year near where Chris lives that we were able to get needles off the ground and I have those saved to use in baskets. They are 16″-24″ long. We also found quite a few in the 12″ range which will work up nicely also.
The last time we visited Chris we took a ride out to a restaurant on a lake near Alexandria and had a delicious lunch. After lunch we decided to do some riding around to find potential camp spots and in the process we found ourselves in the middle of the Kisatchie National Forest. It’s the only National Forest in our state and is quite lovely.
On our way out, I noticed a large planting of long leaf pines. Don says it’s between 3 and 5 acres and it looks like they may relocate pines from elsewhere to this plot as the trees are all different sizes. Talk about a long-leaf craving crafter’s idea of heaven!!! No, I didn’t swipe any needles from the ground or trees, but it sure was tempting. All it took to persuade me not to do that was Don’s reminder that I would go to federal prison. Oops. Not my idea of fun.