The cones have tales to tell this fine spring day. Do you have a minute to hear what they have to say?
Let the old gray cones speak first. They’ve likely seen better days but are still holding on tight to the even older black spruce that bore them years ago. Neither the young nor the old should underestimate the value of tenacity. Hang in there baby!
These spruce cone leftovers on the woodpile reveal a spot where at least one red squirrel likes to dine regularly. Hopefully the neighborhood cats aren’t paying attention.
A closed cone in a boggy area doesn’t want to expose its seeds to the wetness if there’s still a chance it can disperse them farther in drier weather. It’s only natural for all of us, even small pine cones, to aspire to reach out to the world beyond our little neck of the woods.
A spruce cone on the forest floor is already open, even though it rained heavily here a couple of days ago. A sign of a dry summer ahead, it’s also showing an increased risk for wildfire.
Speckled alder cones have only a few seeds left in them, but are proud to say they helped feed a good many hungry chickadees this past winter. When you hear the chickadees sing, you can thank the alders.
Red spruce cones announce to the world that they’re open for business. Pollination business that is. Their bright red bract scales are ready to receive the male gametophytes that will produce a new crop of seeds. They’re so spectacularly beautiful, a close-up is warranted…
Green cones appear for the first time atop a tall balsam fir I transplanted as a seedling years ago while holding a baby on my hip. It’s always a thrill when your babies start having babies of their own, whether these babies are humans or trees ;)
Get outside and hear what nature has to say to you today.
Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2013