Natural Inspiration: The Pines

I spent Easter morning outside--finally!--in the sun with my girls, using the bunny shaped sidewalk chalk they found in their Easter baskets.  I found myself looking up at my neighbors' tree, and realizing I had been staring at it all winter long, through my dining room window and the square clerestory window next to my TV.  In the fall, a friend came for dinner and marveled at that tree, saying this particular type of white pine is now rare in Minnesota.

I took a picture of it yesterday.

Looking at the shape of the boughs, I realized this tree had gotten into my subconscious, and weaseled its way into my thinking on wallpaper.  At one point I was thinking about Studio Printworks Edo Pines for the dining room wall.

Then I considered the more stylized and contemporary Lush paper from Makelike's Forest collection.

I love this poem, found on the Studioprintworks website:

The pines of edo bend,
Bowing to the sun,
source of life and beauty.

Isamu Yoshida (1634)

Do your surrounding imprint on your design sensibility?  When was the last time you found yourself unwittingly influenced by your natural surroundings?