Sunday, January 5, 2014
Ridge Top Patterns
It was too cold to stop and draw on Singe Cat Ridge yesterday, but we managed to bring down a bag of interesting finds, which I drew today in the warmth of the kitchen. On the left is a tightly furled pine cone, variety unknown to me but unlike any pine cone I've seen at lower elevations. These trees were stunted and distorted from the high winds that are so often blowing up there. To me the landscape looked like a bonzai dish garden, trees covered with lichens and twisted, and the cones as big and round as baseballs. The patterns on the cones were perfect spirals yesterday when they were icy. But this morning when I went to draw them, the heat of our house has relaxed them a bit and gaps were opening up between rows of scales.
On the right is a stripped cone, obviously discarded by a squirrel. It looked like a corn cob after being eaten, with just a tuft of empty scales at one end. I could see the squirrel holding it by the two ends and eating it.
On the left is a smaller cone that remained tightly packed all day today, and on the left is the first cone after seceral hours in the house, now with gaps between every row.
At the top is a large acorn that has been cleaned out by something, maybe a squirrel with very long teeth. At the bottom is a case from acorns from a cinquapin oak. These acorn cases remind me of chestnut cases only softer, and the tree finder said the cinquapin oak was mostly destroyed by the early 20th century chestnut blight. There are still a few of these around here apparently.