Monday, November 14, 2011

Seed pod city

It pains me to admit that other parts of the country have nicer seed pods than Iowa, but what can you do. Thanks to Pat and Bob Dietlein of Birmingham, I now have a big bowl of living proof sitting on the dining room table to admire. You just can't question the superiority of Alabama in this instance.

Those who follow this blog may remember that Pat and Bob, as well as Roberta from California, were here a few weeks ago exploring family roots.

Anyhow, the pods on the left are from a sweetgum tree, something that doen't grow naturally in Iowa. Sweetgum trees (Liquidambar styraciflua) have leaves that resemble those of our maples, according to the fact sheet Pat kindly sent along. You'd have to drive way down into southern Illinois or southeast Missouri to find a sweegum in its natural habitat.

The larger pods on the right are from a southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) tree, something else that doesn't grow in Iowa. We have plenty of smaller, hardier "northern" magnolias, but nothing with the magnolia presence of a grandiflora.

My first magnolia grandiflora in full bloom sighting occurred just at dawn many years ago in the Vicksburg National Military Park, en route to New Orleans, where James M. Rhea, an uncle of mine several generations removed is buried among the "unknowns" in the national cemetery. I've never forgotten

Pat also kindly sent along suggested Christmas craft ideas utilizing the pods. I'm not quite sure I'm up to crafting them into something for the holidays, so for the time being will just let them sit in their natural state and enjoy them.


I hate technology. Yesterday morning, I dumped a partial glass of orange juice into my computer keyboard; this morning, the furnace is out (at least it's mild outside). Grrr. Pencils and pot-bellied stoves were simpler.

Postscript: The furnace is running again (a cracked igniter). Thanks Bob! And a bath in orange juice doesn't seem to have affected the keyboard. Life is good.


Ed said...

I love the sweet gum. My parents hauled a seed pod from one down south and it now grows about 30 feet away from their bedroom window.

robertanne said...

When I saw the post, I thought "that's funny he has a photo of the same pods I just got in a big box from Pat & Bob." I'm going to have fun doing the crafts.

Frank D. Myers said...

Wasn't it fun getting the box? I've already eaten Alabama (the candy).