Several times in the last few weeks I have found pieces of dog food in my boots when I put them on in the morning. I figured either I dropped a piece into my cuff accidentally or Monkey the dog was a messy eater. This morning I put on a boot in the dark and could tell there was something in it. I took the boot off again and shook it. It sounded like sand so I poured it out on the floor. Much to my surprise, it turned out to be dozens if not hundreds of little white pine seeds. These seeds are found in the pine cone. After one of the “petals” is ripped off the cone, a tiny little seed falls out of the base of the”petal.” The other day I watched a squirrel eat a freshly-picked pine cone just as we would eat an ear of freshly-picked sweet corn. He held it in his hands, twirled it as he chomped, and spit out the refuse. I couldn’t figure out how he didn’t get sap all over his paws as I did when I tried to do the same. The seeds actually taste like nuts to my taste buds, but what a lot of work for a teaspoon of food! And I had just dumped out a goodly amount of that poor squirrel’s winter supply all over the floor. Monkey watched the whole business impassively, just as I assume he watched the squirrel make countless trips to my boot, right past his nose.
You are lucky you aren’t in Mexico, Anne, or you might have found a scorpion in your boot! That was the first thing we learned when we first moved there. Never get into a shoe, boot or slipper without first checking and shaking it out. Maybe you need to cover your boots at night to keep the squirrels away. Neat story, though.