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Lovin’ Them Pine Cones

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I wasn’t sure if I could bring these coniferous things out of Bhutan.

As pine cones can be seen lying on the ground nearly everywhere in Bhutan, I figured I wasn’t committing an illegal act by bringing some of these lovelies home.  Our guide also didn’t think it would be an issue as long as I did not try to cart home a truckload of pine cones.  But I could almost hear the ‘idiotic tourist’ refrain going on and on in the minds of the hotel staff who gave me a paperbag to store these pine cones.

I just could not resist picking them everywhere I went (but one has to be mindful of cattle manure when picking pine cones or any dried flora/fruits, etc out in the open). 

If I was left to my own devices, I would have brought back dozens and dozens of pine cones.  But under the watchful eye of the irritated-by-my-pine-cone-picking husband, I could only bring back a small stash. 

I was quite worried that they wouldn’t survive the plane ride.  Well, some of the small cones (spruce cones, I think) didn’t quite make it.

Aren’t they pretty with their “woody-ness” and “alternating fish scales” design?  (I don’t know what is the right word to describe this part of the cone.) 

Especially the squat and fat-looking red pine cones. Each ‘scale’ is thicker and the surface smoother compared to the long and thin blue pine cones.

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