The yard has now picked up several piles of pine cones gathered by red squirrels. Is Mud Lake like Camelot and the pine cones fall in neat piles? We checked this out with a DNR/park agent at Itasca State Park. Red squirrels like to gather pine cones in piles. At first we suspected a neighbor was trying to play a joke on us as these a;appeared,. but no. The squirrels do this. We do not know if size and number indicates degree of cold expected, or just good pickings in pine cones, but these are big and located near trees that will more clearly mark them.