The Tuesday fir cone
In the depths of winter the conifers which surround the house, like Sleeping Beauty’s castle, really come into their own. They provide shelter from the wind and weather, and a comforting bulwark of green against the bleakness of the December fields. Most of the conifers around the castle are Douglas firs, which I wrote about in greater detail here.
One of the pleasing things about the Douglases is their cones. Fragrant and abundant, they make excellent firelighters. We often come home from a walk with our pockets stuffed with fir-cones for the log basket, or just for the boys’ nature table, because the cones are so nice to look at. They have whiskery points under each ‘scale’ which are, I believe, unique to the Douglas fir; so if you are in doubt about the identity of the tree, you can identify it from the cone. I am off out now to collect some of the fir-cone laden branches brought down by the snow. They will make a lovely Christmas wreath for our front hall.