Studying the Charecteristics of Trees

I'm trying to learn the subtle differences of trees in nature by taking the time to study their needles/leaves, and cones.  At first glance, I thought this first image was of an Eastern Pine, but according to this old tree guide (1952) it appears to be closer to a White Spruce.  Unlike a pine, the needles are flat and wider, with the cones always hanging down.  The book was passed down to me from my Grandfather, and while the pages are yellowed and the cover is tattered, it has a prime place on my bookshelf.  

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The image below is more consistent with an Eastern Pine Cone based on the dried thin needles which contain 5 in a cluster.  

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There are so many slight varieties, even some hybrids that could make identification tricky. Still, I feel the value is not necessarily in naming it correctly, but slowing down and connecting with nature on a deeper level.  

"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." - John Muir

 
Chris Corradino