Picture of the Day

Spruce Cones

November 13, 2020   ―-  Archive

Macro and Micro Picture of the Day 2020-11-13
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Here are cones of an Engelmann spruce found on the ground in the Lumpy Ridge area of Rocky Mountain National Park. Members of the pine family such as spruces have cones with scales that overlap like those of fish. When the cones lie on the ground, the degree to which the mature cones open is a measure of the moisture content of the soil. More openness means dryer soil. When still on the tree, their openness reflects the humidity of the air. This generally helps seeds to disperse when dry, helping to maximize the distance fallen from the tree. This picture was taken on November 6, 2020.

Equipment used: Canon EOS Rebel T5i with a standard zoom lens (EF-S 18-55 mm).

Authors: Richard Hollos and Stefan Hollos