Friday, February 1, 2013

Normal Day

I am so pleased that today things in our home are back to normal.  My dd2 is  feeling well again and returned to school this morning.  I know she will enjoy spending time with her friends. 

Early this morning I was able to help a friend in need.  I was so thankful that I was able to do this for her, and I have a heart of gratitude that I am able to stay home and have the ability to help when needed. 
The severe cold from the brief snow storm has passed for now.  Only a small bit of snow here and there is all that remains from the storm. It is still a cold day outside and as you can see the sky looks cold and overcast.  As much as I dislike the cold I do enjoy the contrast of the tree's against the sky.  The details of the branches emerge and you can really see the smallest of details that are normally hidden by the leaves.  The little balls up in the tree are sweet gum balls that didn't fall from the tree.  At our house we call them ankle breakers because inevitably these last few left in the tree start falling about the same time we have winter ice and you roll your ankle on them in the driveway.  The vast majority of the sweet gum balls which are actually seed pods fall in the autumn.  Shortly before the pods begin to fall they burst open and release hundreds of seeds.  There are so many seeds falling from the pods that for a few days when you are standing outside it sounds like a soft sprinkling of rain!
This is a photo of the seeds that have collected into the pits on the pavement in the driveway.  It looks like someone threw birdseed all over the driveway. After they burst open and the seeds have fallen, the pods drop from the tree by the thousands... and you guessed it, all over the driveway lol

We rake the pods up into large piles with the leaves and burn them in the ditch.  The seed pods smolder for a long time like charcoals.  The remainder of the leaves that fall mulch my flower gardens in the front.  Sweet-gum tree's are beautiful but NEVER plant them near a driveway!  The benefits of the tree is an amazingly dense shade in the summer.  I am very thankful for that.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend :)

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