Tuesday, November 18, 2008

11/18/08 Picture Perfect Seasons

I stepped outside my front door today and there laying on the ground right next to my tiny porch was this pine cone. Scattered around it are a few dried pine needles and some pieces of old autumn leaves. Does anything say "winter" more than a pine cone on your doorstep? Well, freezing temperatures and snow might say it a little more profoundly. We're having the freezing temperatures but only flurries of snow, no real snow yet.

Check out the white patches on the pine cone. I've never seen that before in real life. I've seen fake pine cones with white on them like that. I always thought they painted it on to look like the pine cone had been found on a snowy day. I've seen bags of pine cones for sale as decorator items in craft shops that had white on the seed scale (yes, I had to look that up for the proper term for the pokey-outy things on a pine cone), but figured they painted that on before putting them in the bag to make them look snowy and wintery. I never knew that pine cones got white stuff on them in nature! So what is that stuff and how does it get there? Is it only certain kinds of pine trees that have cones with the white on it? Is that why I've never seen this in nature before? I'm guessing now that all those pine cones I'd seen in the bag with the white stuff were pine cones in their natural state, just not pine cones that were in the states in which I've had the opportunity to see pine cones in their natural setting. (I think I've seen most of my pine cones fresh off the trees in the East Texas Piney Woods and in Virginia.)

So much to learn! So much to think about!

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