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Spiky Circles

Sweetgum Fruit

Sweetgum Fruit

When I saw this tree in the distance, I had no idea that it was full of dangling spiky circles. I was uncertain of the tree name, but later learned that it was a Sweetgum tree. The circular fruit of the Sweetgum tree is hard and dry and each is composed of about 40-60 capsules. Each capsule contains one to two small seeds and has a pair of terminal spikes. There are about 80-120 spikes on each ball.

Fruits of the Sweetgum

Fruits of the Sweetgum

Seeds are released when the fruit opens and are food for many kinds of birds and squirrels.

Downy Woodpecker in the Sweetgum Tree

Downy Woodpecker in the Sweetgum Tree

I believe this woodpecker was more interested in exploring the Sweetgum wood than its fruit.

Sweetgum Burr

Sweetgum Burr

The long stemmed fruit tries to cling onto the branches in the winter.

Sweetgum Burr Balls

Sweetgum Burr Balls

When the spiky burrs fall to the ground, they are uncomfortable to walk on. The ground surrounding this tree was covered in burrs even though the tree looks full!

I am so glad that I took notice of this tree and its distinctive beauty. I want to see what the leaves and flowers look like later on in the year as the tree goes through the circle of life!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

#beattentive, #beeattentive
Beespeak: Be attentive- take notice of the beauty surrounding you!

*posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge:
Circle

*also posted for Jennifer Nichole Wells new Color Your World Challenge with today’s theme of Almond

Tourmaline .

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