As I got close to completing my pine cone-bird feeder-mobile, I tackled the issue of how to attach the pine cones to one another. At first I tried to simply use string to connect the pinecones, but I found that this didn't enable me to space the pinecones as far apart as I had envisioned - instead they hung down in one straight line. I decided this wasn't the look I wanted, so I next tried to use wire. I found copper wire of a thickness I liked and I strung the pine cones together with it, which allowed me to stagger them further.
Covering with peanut butter
I hung up my mobile on a cherry tree in my backyard. The first few days I watched the progression of the colors being revealed. Then the next time I went to check on it, only one pinecone remained attached to the tree. My dog led me to the other ones that she had gnawed on and cleaned of peanut butter. A few pinecones are still missing - I think a squirrel or some other creature knocked them off of the tree. It must have grabbed a couple and my dog got to the rest.
While time wasn't depicted in the way I had envisioned, nature still interacted with my work and altered it. Although I would have liked to have gotten to see more of the progression of the weathering over a longer period of time and gotten to see birds feed off it, my project took an unexpected and different turn, and the pinecones look different, albeit more beat-up, than I had predicted which isn't entirely a bad thing.