(I wonder to what that old expression in my title refers...) Last week, as I was going to open the gate of the preserve early in the morning, I saw an object about an inch long laying on the driveway. Not recognizing what it was, I picked it up to examine it, and it turned out to be the cone of one of the conifers lining that part of the drive. Or was it...?
At first, I thought it was just a tiny, immature cone that would have grown much larger if it hadn't been snipped from a branch by a squirrel or rambunctious crow. In any case, I brought it in the house and set it aside.
Over a period of a few days, it ripened and revealed itself - not as an embryonic pineapple - but as a male cone that would never have grown any larger. Instead, the tiny cone on my kitchen counter-top was surrounded by drifts of yellow pollen. You can bet I cleaned it up carefully.