Friday, October 16, 2009

White Pine Seasonal Growth

I enjoy walking on the soft carpets of fallen white pine needles during my lake walks. I notice that the dropping needles are from the previous year's growth.

In early spring, buds like these extend out into needle covered branches.

It appears that the best case habit is for five branches around a central branch. Sometimes there might only be a couple of side branches. I thought that perhaps some branches didn't make it due to weather or pest damage. Then I noticed that this year's bud structures for next year's growth are sometimes formed with less that a full complement of buds.

This is such a fascinating time of year! The fall foliage is delightful but observing nature's preparations for next year's growth is way over the top. Here are Swamp Maple buds readied up for next spring.


  1. Love today's observations- your photo of the five branch cluster on the white pine reminds me of a new art form that is quietly becoming quite popular. It is called 'zentangle' and believe me, despite its complicated look, anyone can do it- it is not just for artists. It is literally "yoga for the brain" and combines meditation with simple doodling, like the kind we ALL did on our brown paper bag book covers back in school. Turns out all that doodling helped us learn! Check it out here:
    Inspired by your photo, I might have to work this natural pine design into a new tangle pattern- and it will of course be called "nuncketest"!

  2. Paper bag book covers! One cover lasted all year. I liked how in time they'd get soft and furry, even if it became tougher to doodle on them. that's cool stuff! Looking forward to seeing the nuncketest pattern! :-)