You may recall the pine cones I blogged about earlier. I love pine cones. I think they're rustically beautiful. First, just in case you feared that we have no autumn color here on the NC coast, --
So. Pine cones. I took Sandy for a little walk, and found a lone pine tree in a field, with some nice-sized beauties beneath. They're round and open. The basketful I had before? I left them on the patio in the rain, and guess what they did when they got wet? They closed up!! Can you believe that? I had no idea pine cones responded to water. I brought them inside, let them dry, and they're slowly opening again.
This one looks old ... maybe last year's crop? Bleached by the sun?
And then there were these. They're closed up tight. Do pine cones come in male and female? (Yes, I'm willing to express that much ignorance online.) Are these this year's crop, and the others are last year's? I have no idea.
The squirrels have a hey-day. They've nibbled the cones down to a nubbin.
See? Makes me wonder if we're in for a cold winter. Dozens of these are scattered under the pine trees. The squirrels sit on their branches and chatter at me as I gather their larder in my arms, and Sandy sits at attention, wishing they'd come down so she could chase them.
I collect pine cones each year. I always think, "I'll do something lovely and creative with them!" And they always sit in a basket all winter. But I love them just the same!