These pine cones are from two dawn redwood trees I have in my yard – where I also have a white pine as well. The unique shape to these cones made for a great pattern study. I actually fumbled around for awhile until finally settling on this composition. It was interesting how the single white pine cone changed some of the dynamics. I wanted to position it so it would act somewhat of a barrier to your eyes leaving the frame, and bounce them back up again. I used a soft gold diffuser to bounce some warm light into the patterns to enhance the texture.
These trees have an interesting history as well. Though they are related to the more famous genus of Sequoia redwoods, no one seemed to know they existed before the 1940s except in fossils. Then a small forest of these trees (only about 5,000 supposedly) was discovered in China, some Harvard researchers went to collect seed samples, etc – and so they started to be cultivated elsewhere. There is a preserve of these trees now in North Carolina, Crescent Ridge Dawn Redwoods Preserve, that will not open until 2035 to hopefully re-establish a native forest of them. Their site has a lot of interesting tidbits about these trees, including some photos of the fossils. I am not quite sure how they became ornamental landscape trees, but it seems I have a link between my yard, North Carolina, and ancient China.