Alien pods or harmless pine cone?

My father and I went camping this summer, just like we try to do every summer. We set up camp in an area that, in addition to the normal Ponderosa pines and aspen trees, it also had trees with these really interesting pinecones on them. I’d never seen them before, so I thought I’d sketch them and look them up when I got back someplace that had a signal.

A photo posted by aaron thomason (@aaron_t) on

Turns out the trees were Douglas Fir trees, and this is what their cones look like. Apparently the only other Douglas Firs I’ve ever seen were chopped down and and bundled in Christmas tree lots.

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