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Up in the Pines

Reading the Mexico Cooks article on using pine needles in Patzcuaro reminded me of cones and needles in Tapalpa a week ago.

For some reason, for somebody, we were supposed to bring back a bunch of cones but we didn’t look much further than the side of the road. Sadly these looked a little like roadkill, muddy, unopened (not dry) and were all very small. I hope they worked for somebody’s unknown project.

Not the cones we saw

That got me to wondering what kinds of cones (and trees) were in the area. There’s an artisan coop shop on the plaza and a few women were weaving baskets with pine needles. Long pine needles, almost a foot long and unlike those we had seen. I asked how many types of pines there were in the area and they said many. One of the women brought over three sizes of cones including one that looked like a sugar pine, almost a foot long.

The weaving starts with a bundle of needles and more are inserted into the bundle as the basket takes shape while stitching it all together. These baskets were either utilitarian or just quickly made to sell. I’m sure there must be fancy examples in the area

Basket weaving

Not Tapalpa baskets but close

Our family used to collect cones every summer at Lake Tahoe for our winter project of making them into decorative Xmas trees. I think we sold them all every year.   Another possible craft here except the cones are so small

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