I have been meaning to draw a pine cone for the past ten years. On a trip to New Mexico a decade ago, I brought one back from up on the Mogollon Rim, near Payson, if I remember correctly. I wanted it for art reference and it languished in my studio for the longest time, with me moving it from desk to table top and back to my art desk. I finally got tired of moving it and took it outside and put it on the adobe wall near our gate (couldn't bring myself to throw it away).
This morning I realized it would make a nifty little plot device ding bat illustration in a story we're doing and I wondered if it was still on the wall. Believe it or not, I actually found it half buried under a mesquite tree next to the wall. It was still there! Grabbed it, cleaned it off and did a sketch of it:
This particular pine cone is in reference to an Apache training device I remember reading about when I was a kid.