So Much Has Happened: Time to Reconnect with Nature

Tammy Brown

A month has passed since I last sat down to write about life at Little Piney.  So much has happened this spring and summer that I haven’t had time to absorb the changes.  My youngest daughter and her fiancé, David,  were married in May after months of planning and preparation.  She was a beautiful bride, and the wedding was lovely.    My favorite part of the preparation was creating 18 centerpieces composed of family silver, Candlewick glass, old books, vintage doilies, and bud vases collected for her sister’s wedding to which the florist added pale pink peonies.  The centerpieces honored the past and celebrated the moment as we all wished only the best for her future with David.

Only two weeks later, my sweet brother-in-law, my sister’s husband of 52 years, became ill.  He passed away after 5 days in the hospital.  Another change, another loss of someone dear to our family.

Two weeks later, we are selling our home in Austin and planning to remodel or add-on to our home at Little Piney.

Sometimes, I can’t slow down my mind enough to sleep!  That’s when I know I need more time outdoors to reconnect with nature, walking at Little Piney, observing what comes to the attention of my senses. Walking, I inhale the scent of crushed needles, wildflowers, and herbs released beneath my step.  I notice the varied percussion of rain drops landing on leaves, water, or roof, or hear the wind grown louder as it moves toward me through the woods.  I watch the play of light as it rolls like glitter across the dark surface of the lake on a breath of wind, or as it paints a pine trunk golden with the setting sun.  I lock eyes with a deer and feel it’s curiosity and acknowledgement.  Connecting with nature is meditative and healing.  It clears my mind and calms my body.  I feel refreshed and rested.


Twin Sisters Tree

This giant double-trunked pine is the most special tree at Little Piney.  I named it “Twin Sisters” after my mother and my Aunt Loyce.  They were identical twins, as close as any sisters could ever be, and very special.  They loved their families fiercely, were strong and wise, and they were inseparable.  When I stand under the branches of this tree I feel safe and calm.  The branches sweep the ground and form the kind of shelter I would have played “house” under as a little girl.  It might sound strange if you are not in communication with nature yourself, but I always feel loved and welcomed by this beautiful tree.

Loblolly Pine
Twin Sisters

Deer Sightings

Three bucks grazed in the field today as I was walking home.  This one was very close.  I love the soft velvet on his antlers.

White-tailed Deer at Little Piney, Bastrop TX
White-tailed Deer
White-tailed Deer at Little Piney, Bastrop TX
White-tailed Deer

A fawn and a doe wandered out in the front field and were surprised to see me on the porch.  Mama ran for the woods with her white-tail up, but the little one lingered to look at me before for a moment before catching up.

Fawn at Little Piney Bastrop TX

Birds Lately

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are back for the summer.  This male allowed me a good look at his crimson gorget.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Little Piney, Bastrop, TX
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

A Green Heron was calling for his mate at the lake last weekend or I probably would have missed him.  I haven’t seen one of these in a long time.

Green Heron at Little Piney, Bastrop, TX
Green Heron
Green Heron at Little Piney, Bastrop, TX
Green Heron

I saw him again today and caught him in flight.

Green Heron at Little Piney, Bastrop, TX
Green Heron in Flight


A Mockingbird perched in evening light at Neighbor’s on the Colorado in Bastrop before the Patriotic Festival fireworks.

Northern Mockingbird, Bastrop TX
Northern Mockingbird

And you know it’s summer when the Scissortails are back!  We let these huge Poke Weeds grow anywhere they want to at Little Piney because the wildlife love them.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Little Piney, Bastrop, TX
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Reconnect with Nature

So much has happened, and will keep happening.  In fact, I started this entry last week, and I’m just now finishing.  That’s the way it is when you are blessed with a life full of people you care about, interests that are important to you, responsibilities to yourself and others, meaningful work, land or homes to care for, even possessions that must be maintained.  Nature is busier than all of us, yet she manages to tend to her world with grace and peace.  Knowing that helps me keep better perspective on change in my life, to dwell in gratitude for every day and every challenge, and to regain my own inner peace.  I just need to take time to reconnect with nature.


Three more bird photos from this morning–










  1. Tammy l’m so glad you are enjoying little piney as much maybe even more than me. The double trunk pine brought back memorys of catching a breezy day and relaxing to the sound of the wind making the pines sound as though they were whispering to you. As you mentioned there is nothinglll that l know of can relax a person so much. Thanks for the memory and l ‘m thankful someone like bought this wonderful place . Carl & Sherry

    1. Carl and Sherry, Thank you for sharing your memories. Little Piney has been well-loved by all its caretakers. We are so lucky to be the current owners and appreciate you for handing it over so well cared for. Tammy