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.
Seeds are released when the fruit opens and are food for many kinds of birds and squirrels.
I believe this woodpecker was more interested in exploring the Sweetgum wood than its fruit.
The long stemmed fruit tries to cling onto the branches in the winter.
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!
Beespeak: Be attentive- take notice of the beauty surrounding you!
*posted for the daily post weekly photo challenge:
Introducing Woody. Ever since I heard the “peck, peck, peck” of a woodpecker earlier this year, I have been hoping to capture a picture of the elusive bird.
Today, when my dog scratched the door to go out, I saw my opportunity. The small bird was pecking on my dogwood tree, near the hummingbird feeder. I ran to grab my camera. When the bird then landed on my poor braided hibiscus plant, which is now only sticks thanks to being a wildlife snack, I snapped his picture. Unfortunately, he flew away before I could get a clearer shot.
Still, I did get the one picture and here he is. Look closely and you can see the red spot at the back of his head, identifying him as an adult male downy woodpecker!