I like to think that when we draw from nature, we're drawing nature through ourselves–through eyes and brain and heart, and down the arm onto the page. If that's so, then every time we draw something, we take a little bit of it inside. It has become part of us; we understand it in a new and important way. We've made a connection.
Looked at that way, it doesn't necessarily matter what the end result looks like. The important part is the drawing through.
Seems to me that Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) are the defining tree species of Southeast Alaska's forests. Although western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) are more abundant, spruce are more prominent. They grow where we like to go: along coastlines, on riverbanks, on the outwash plains of glaciers. And they follow where we've been: old village sites, abandoned mining ruins, forgotten roads.
My favorite spruce are the ones that colonize this region's uplift meadows (extravagant, lush parklands created as former tidelands are lifted from the sea by glacial rebound). These "wolf spruce" are sturdy, cheerfully-symmetrical little trees, bristling with vigor and growing almost fast enough to watch. I drew this one (and a cone from an older cousin) a few years ago near the Brotherhood Bridge, north of Juneau.