Ponderosa pine trees grow in New Mexico. People gathered pine cones last fall.
Others dried the cones. They cleaned and sorted the seeds. They froze some. They planted seedlings.
Wildfires burn many of these pines. People save the seeds. They will plant new trees.
READ MORE: God gives us trees, trees, and more trees. Isaiah 41:19-20 tells us that God “sets in the desert the pine,” that His people “may see and know that the hand of the Lord has done this.” Ponderosa pine forests often burn down during wildfires. But pine cones are created to make lots of seeds every ten years or so. Teams of people worked in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. They gathered as many pine cones as they could before the snow fell. They want one million seeds to save for the future.
Lesson #2: Pine Cone Testing. Those of you in areas with layers of deep snow might have difficulty finding pine cones at this time of year. If woods are walkable, take your kids out on a pine cone hunt. Once the cones are room temperature, try this (found at https://parentingchaos.com/why-do-pine-cones-open-and-close/). You’ll need a number of open and closed pine cones, two wide glass bowls of water, and an air heater. Place a closed pine cone in one dish of water and an opened one in the other dish. What do you see? Turn on the heater. Place one open and one closed pine cone in front of it. What happens? God created pine cones to fold their outer scales (bracts) to close when wet. This ensures that the cones release seeds on dry days. The seeds will travel farther and have a better opportunity to land in a spot ideal for growth.