Winter Rations

Liquidambar styraciflua

Goldfinch Eating Sweet Gum Seeds (Liquidambar styraciflua)

I’ve often thought of our Sweet Gum tree as more of a Bitter-Sweet Gum tree, mainly when I rake up piles of the spiky little balls it sheds with great joy and abandon.  I think I am not alone in this.  But then I reflect on the fact that the universe really doesn’t revolve around me and my kind, despite our illusions to the contrary sometimes, and that this wonderful tree has lots of benefits.

Just ask the goldfinches when they flock into its branches and spend hours snacking on its seeds outside our window.  Even with feeders available nearby, our sweet gum is a popular stop for these birds, plus many others who like to nest in it.  It’s also a great shade tree, so I’m grateful for it in the end.

I’m also grateful that nobody reported someone suspiciously hanging out of our upstairs window with a camera pointed in the direction of the busy street, passersby, and our neighbors houses…..  I guess they’re just used to us by now.

I will try to add a page on the Sweet Gum to our native plants section in the near future, so stay tuned.

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