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The Pine Cone: Nature’s Memory Card Holder and Display


Every year, a pine tree close to our house produces the most perfect cones, and I often pick up a handful of them on my way home. The cones are undeniably beautiful, but not of much practical use. Or so I thought, until one day it hit me that a cone would make a rather nifty SD card holder.

Besides the SD cards designated for regular use with my camera that are stored in a proper holder, I also have a bunch of cards that I use only occasionally. These cards are all over the place, and keeping tabs on them is an impossible task.

The pine cone to the rescue! Depending on the size of the cone, a cone can hold quite a few SD cards.

The cones I use are not particularly big, but they can hold up to ten SD cards each. Better still, turning a cone into a holder doesn’t require any work at all: stick the cards between the cone blades, and you’re done. The only thing you might want to add is a foot/base to make the cone more stable.

Before you put a cone to the card holding use, make sure it doesn’t have any resin residue. And if you worry about the SD card contacts being exposed, you can use a bigger cone that can hold SD cards in slim plastic cases.

A pine cone memory card holder is…

  • Free, as in it doesn’t cost anything.
  • Designed by nature (arguably the best designer ever).
  • Durable. Cones survive a several meter drop from the tree, so they are pretty sturdy.
  • Sustainable and biodegradable. No manufacturing and transportation costs, no environmental impact.
  • Multi-functional (doubles as photographer’s Christmas decoration).

So there you go, an instant SD card holder that has a lot going for it.

About the author: Dmitri Popov is an amateur photographer and tech writer. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. Popov has been writing exclusively about Linux and open source software for almost two decades. In his spare time, he takes photos and develops simple open source photography tools and utilities. You can find more of his work and writing on his website, blog, EyeEm, and Getty Images. This article was also published here.