It’s the first day of spring, but Bergen and I just ticked one last thing off of our winter bucket list: A Conifer Cone Search! It ended up being quite spontaneous. We were out on one of our usual walks as a family through the Washington Park Arboretum. Along the way, Bergen was paying particular attention to all the conifer cones (aka: pine cones) on the ground and under trees.
His attention reminded me of our goal of collecting and sorting various conifer cones and comparing and contrasting, so I started to encourage him to search for as many different cones as he could find. Lucky for us, we happened to be walking through the Pinetum, a section of the arboretum dedicated to pine and conifer trees, so it didn’t take us long to gather 10 or so varieties of cones!
To add even more fun and seasonality, I remarked to Bergen about how the whole experience reminded me of an Easter egg hunt! All the fun of searching, without all the pressure to find the most, and no sugar high or candy hangover from all those jellybeans inside the eggs.
You might not have a pinetum near your house, but you still might give a conifer cone search a try! You can find fallen cones all throughout the year. In addition to choosing the arboretum for our walk, we may have been particularly successful in finding so many because of the extreme winds we’ve had in the Seattle area in the last couple of weeks. Here’s what we did broken down into 3 easy steps!
Conifer Cone Search
1. Find a place!
Choose a park or hiking trail that you know is rich with conifer trees (trees that are cone bearing, usually evergreen).
Search the ground around the trees for fallen cones. Try to find at least 5 different varieties or types, and collect them in your pockets or a bag.
3. Compare and Contrast!
Lay out all of your collected cones, and ask:
- How are these the same?
- How are these different?
- What color differences do you see?
- What size differences do you see?
- What tree does this cone come from? You might bring along a field guide to help you identify. We love our Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest. If you don’t live in the PNW, you can find one for your region!
Do Bergen’s pants look familiar? You may have noticed that they are very similar to the hoodie that I featured from The Patchery last month! I designed these cozy lounge pants using the same fabric line. I love that they are comfortable for Bergen to get out on walks and explore, but they also have a bit of added hipness and spunk!
And most importantly, do you know what I figured out on this walk? These pants are perfect for little collectors! As illustrated in the photos above, Bergen had no trouble fitting a dozen pine cones into the roomy pockets of The Patchery lounge pants.
As I mentioned in last month’s post, as an ambassador for The Patchery, we are given products in order to review and share on the blog. If you’re thinking of purchasing a pair of lounge pants for your little explorer (or any of the other adorable clothing pieces on their site), you receive 15% with our special code! Just use “WildTale15” at checkout.
If you’re wondering what The Patchery has to offer for girls and babies, stay tuned for April’s post where Georgia (our 15-month old) will be featuring one of her outfits on the blog!
What did you do for your first day of spring? Get outside? Work on taxes? Let’s chat in the comments!
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