I hope that you will take a walk on a beautiful trail sometime over this upcoming holiday weekend. (It is a holiday in the United States for those of you who live elsewhere.)   If you hike in an area with pine trees, look around for a fallen pine cone or two.  You will need a couple for this challenge.  

But first — and this is really important — be certain that it is ok for you to remove the pine cones.  Note that some parks prohibit taking anything but photos!  Please do not violate this important request.  

Once you have the pine cones, you will want to attach them to an outside window sill at your home.  To do that, you can use poster putty or mounting putty to secure them.  These types of putty won’t damage the wood nor the paint on the sill.  You will want the cones’ scales pointing upward. So put some of the putty on the sill and attach the base of the cone to it.

Pine Cones
Image by J Cutrer from Pixabay

Now, the pine cones will do the rest of the work. 

When it is going to be warm and dry, the scales will be in an open position.  However, when it is going to rain and the humidity is increasing, the scales will begin to close.  The change should be enough that it is noticeable. 

This happens because the cone holds the tree’s seeds.  When it is warm and dry, the cone wants the seeds to disperse as far as possible.  A breeze will generally carry those seeds further than when it is humid.  So, when it is humid, the cone will close up, reducing dispersal.  

This is in the best interest of the “parent” tree.  It wants the seeds to survive and thrive away from itself and its siblings so that they aren’t competing for the surrounding resources.

Have fun with this natural weather forecaster.

This challenge is rated as easy. 

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