Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Travels in Québec III: Jack Pine Cones

I was walking through a plantation of jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and picked up a couple cones. Jack pine, like lodgepole pine and black spruce, is adapted to stand-replacing fire as a method of regeneration. That means it waits for a big fire and then the cones, which are serotinous, open after exposure to heat and they drop the seeds to the mineral soil on the ground where they germinate and regenerate dense stands. Clever, eh?

Here are a couple pressed up against the bole of a young tree. Sometimes the tree grows right around them.

I thought a lot about jack pine cones when I was taking an Outward Bound course. That course taught me what I had locked up inside me that could help me get through adversity and get started again. I keep a few cones around to remind me of that. I give them to friends that are facing a challenge as well. I like to think it helps them too.


griffiskc said...

Very cool John. I'm going to remember that. Thanks.

Ronna Mogelon said...

Well said.