It’s not a murder hornet

There has been a lot of talk about the appearance of the murder hornet in our back yard. With that in mind I ran out behind the shop to see if I could grab a photo of a bee. The likelihood of actually finding one of the hornets was obviously too remote to even consider. Unfortunately, there were no bees in play either. So, no insects, but the fact that I was outside looking is your clue for what this is.

It is a confier cone. There are a few of them that have dropped out behind the building. If my biology from too many years ago is correct, this is the female cone (or MEGASTROBILUS), which produces the seeds. The male cones produce pollen.

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