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Our Pine Tree Study: Winter Series #5

“There is something majestic about the pines, which even the most unimpressionable feel.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 670

We have plenty of pine trees to study in our area and because they are so common we often don’t take the time to really look at them. This week as part of the Winter Series of Challenges, we tried to focus on two different kinds of pines that we have along our walking trail in two different spots.

The first is the Ponderosa pine and it is very common in our neighborhood. We also enjoy seeing them when we visit Yosemite.
looking up high

These are really tall pines that spread out their limbs high up on the top.
Ponderosa Pine needles attached to the branch
Quite a few limbs had fallen down in the last storm we experienced, making observation of the limbs much easier. Here you can see how the bundles of needles are attached to the limb.

Ponderosa Pine bark up close
Ponderosa Pine trunks resemble puzzle pieces and have actually very pretty.

Ponderoas Pine moss on the bark
Here is another tree that has moss growing in between the bark pieces.

Now for the other kind of pine….

Jeffrey pine needles
The needles on this pine are almost blue-gray in comparison to the Ponderosa Pine. This limb was down from the winter storm as well and we got to take a really good look at it up close.

Jeffrey pine growth
This was interesting to see. I am assuming this is where the new cones will develop on the limb.

“The appearance of the unique unripe cone is another convincing evidence that mathematics is the basis of the beautiful. The pattern of the overlapping scales is intricate and yet regular-to appreciate it one needs to try to sketch it.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 672

Jeffrey Pine cone
Here are some cones. We are not sure and will have to go back and look at the tree itself to identify it but the boys are thinking that it is either a Jeffrey pine or a Gray pine.

Pine cone 7 13 09
I attempted last summer to sketch and paint some cones into my nature journal and it is very true that when you take the time to sketch something you notice all the patterns and details much more than you would normally. I encourage you to give it a try with your children.

We have studied the pines in our backyard before and you can read about that study HERE.

“At least one pine tree should be studied in the field. Any species will do, but the white pine is the most interesting.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 674

I think if you live in the West, the sugar pine is also very interesting, especially if you have a big cone to study.

Great week for nature study!

2 thoughts on “Our Pine Tree Study: Winter Series #5

  1. I love the moss in the cracks of the bark! Beautiful 🙂

  2. What a beautiful study!!! You always encourage me to get outside with the kiddos! Because you have aided so much in our Nature Study, I wanted to pass this award to you… I don’t know if you do awards, but I just wanted you to know what your sites have been to us 😀

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