Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1 - Sweetgum Tree - Liquiamber styraciflua

The Sweetgum Tree in July.  Photo by Robert Priddy
The Sweetgum Tree
The leaves have become a darker green since the spring. Some of the leaves have little tears and holes since they have been on the tree since spring. There is an incredible difference on the summer tree - the little green balls with the spikes. So beautiful!

The Sweetgum balls hold seeds, and the balls protect the seeds by the prickly spikes. These seeds hold the life of a new tree and they are also nourishment for birds and small mammals such as chipmunks and squirrels. There can be up to 50 seeds per ball. My daughter called it, "A holder of seeds" in a beautiful art piece she gave to a few years ago.

Sweetgum trees are the home for the caterpillar of the beautiful and romantic Luna Moth. The luna moth will live only a brief moment in time, coming out of it's cocoon by the light of the summer moon, finding its mate and flying together for a night and day before laying its eggs to begin life anew the following, that is truly the essence of living in the moment.

I will be looking for the Luna moth this summer emerging from the Sweetgum Tree that lives by my house.

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment, wisely and earnestly."


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