Fir Cones (Whatever Those Are)
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Wooden Roses or, at least, they look like wooden roses -- Hieidaira -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/640 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wooden Roses
or, at least, they look like wooden roses

When I posted yesterday's “What am I?” quiz, I did so thinking that the answer was “parts of a pine cone”, and I suspected regex.info's resident botanist (“Peter, in Wales”) would provide that answer. Indeed, he provided the correct answer, as did Alexander before him and Earnest after, but it turns out that I would have been wrong because the photo does not show parts of a pine cone, but rather of a fir cone. I had never heard of such a thing.

Fir Cones in a Fir Tree -- Hieidaira -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Fir Cones in a Fir Tree

The cones are made up of scales, and it seems that they shed off while still on the tree. In the upper-left of the shot above, you can see that one cone has shed about half its scales. The upper part of the cone next to it is just about ready to shed, it looks like, with lots of space opening up among the scales.

Unlike pine cones, these cones protrude up above the branch that hosts them (which is seen more easily in the shot below than above, although they are indeed protruding up above their respective branches in the shot above).

Hieidaira -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Ground Littered with Scales -- Hieidaira -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ground Littered with Scales

The ground under the tree was covered with scales in the same way the ground under a deciduous tree is littered with leaves in the fall... a nice even coating everywhere. The scales are extremely brittle (they have no “give”.. they snap with the slightest pressure), so walking on them gives a decidedly crisp and pleasing crunching/crackling sound.

Vestiges of a Former Self -- Hieidaira -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Vestiges of a Former Self

For reference, here's a cone I snapped a picture of elsewhere during my walk...

Different Tree, Different Species, Different Cone -- Hieidaira -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60 mm — 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Different Tree, Different Species, Different Cone

I grew up in an area with pine cones, and I'm glad I did, because I suspect any kid would like pine cones better than these fir cones. Pine cones are prefect for throwing at siblings, for example. A fir cone would just crumble in your hand as you tried to throw it, like a snowball on a really really really cold day. Useless to a kid.

Anthony and I were out with Arthur and his kids, Monet and May, for a walk in the nearby woods. As evidence for the previous paragraph, I'll notice that none of the kids paid much attention to the fir cones.

Anthony had borrowed some wheels for the short trip to the park at the edge of the woods, and in snapping a shot of him on the way back, you can see the tall evergreen that hosted today's cones in the background...

Hieidaira -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/640 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

One comment so far...

Thank you.Found same cones today under a fir tree as big as a redwood. Would like to knw the variety of tree.

— comment by Sue Palmer on March 26th, 2012 at 1:54am JST (5 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink
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