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I love to have a few pine cones, they remind me of time spent with my family growing up on a farm in rural West Sussex. I remember on the cold wintry days going out with mum to collect these from the hundreds of pine trees that surrounded the land my dad farmed on. I regret to say that a great majority of these trees were felled a few years back, no not to make room for housing but for a golf course of all things! We had an open coal fire in our sitting room and these cones really spat when we threw them onto the burning coals, not too good for Mum's carpet, although the rug in front of it took the full extent of the scorching and of course when out of the room we would always put the fireguard up.

A pine cone is a seed that comes from a pine tree. Pine trees are tall and straight. Pine trees don't lose their leaves in autumn and winter. They belong to a group of trees called evergreens.

I always love the opportunity to mention squirrels, I know they can be pests, but who could hate these lovely cute 'n furry creatures? My 'Secret' grey squirrel is still reeking havoc around the garden, he has knocked down a bird feeder yet again, with his acrobatic antics!

Squirrels are seed eaters. They favour pine cones, but also eat larch and spruce. Their diet also includes fungi, shoots and fruits of shrubs and trees, and sometimes birds' eggs. They can choose between good and bad nuts by holding them in their paws. Reds do not hibernate and store fungi in trees to eat over the winter months. When food is plentiful, they put on weight in the autumn to help them through the winter. This is important for breeding females, so that they are in good condition for producing young.


Lynn said...

I also like squirrels. Even though they are rodents, they are cute! Chipmunks as well. One year, chipmunks made a home in my sandstone wall nearly destroying it. It had to be rebuilt and the network of nests removed.

Anonymous said...

Louise this is lovely and I can't tell you how many triggers you have set off for me!
We live on the edge of a wood and so the pine cones are plentiful in my garden. Usually my daughter gets one in her eye... from her brothers direction usually!
We had a coal fire too and we always had a fire rug with loads of brown singe marks on it!
Oh and the squirrels, I think we have three that frequent our garden daily. Really funny they are... I must say I do enjoy watching their antics... setting their buck up to the crows and the magpies is always funny to watch!

Anonymous said...

I love squirrels to, there antics are so enchanting to watch. As well as loving squirrels I also can never resist collecting pine cones from the woods, or conkers and acorns.

Anonymous said...

Pine cones and squirrels are two of the best things about a walk in the countryside. Collecting one and watching the other keeps kids of all ages occupied!

Joanna said...

I ment to look for some pine cones at the weekend but our walk turned into a wet march to the pub across the downs (The fox goes free at charlton). Then I spent sundya drying out infront of the fire with a sore throat. It must be sad to know those trees are no longer there and in there place a golf course. I love squirels, such busy little things. I once found one in the garden that was tame enough to feed toast from my hands he even let me give him a little stroke.

closed account said...

Hi again , just loving this blog on gardening, great help and pictures are all lovely too, what a pleasure to read, regards, kath, beeswax

Anonymous said...

The alpine tree in our garden that might have to be cut down has small pine cones on it. it's amazing how excited I got when i saw them on the tree!
Sara from farmingfriends

kari and kijsa said...

Love those wonderful pinecones. The ones around here are tiny, but have had some collected for decorating that are a nicer size!

kari & kijsa

Cowboys and Custard said...

Hi Louise
Would you mind sending me your email address?
I would like to send you something..
I quite understand if you would rather not!