Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Solved: The Mystery of the Red Fuzzy Cones

While hiking a couple of weeks ago, I came across this odd looking plant:

Tried as I might, I couldn't get Google to tell me what I was looking at. Surely those red fuzzy cone things are so distinctive that an identification should have been trivial.

This past weekend, at the end of our rafting trip, we took a big 'ol WWII Army truck back to our starting point. As we slowly crawled up the ravine towards our car, we passed a wall of raspberry bushes. And then it hit me: could those red cones I saw while hiking be hiding raspberries? I tried to get Google to confirm this, but had little luck. I did find this image, which was very promising.

Yesterday afternoon though, I finally solved the mystery. Check out what was growing along the W&OD trail:

To my eye, those are the same structure as my first set of photos, though now with the raspberries burst through. Who knew?

It boggles my mind that I've been noshing on wild raspberries my whole life and yet I've never seen them in their red-coned form before. Probably because I wasn't paying attention.

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