As Sam hijacked the blog earlier this week, I thought I’d throw in my 2 cents worth today regarding our trip. Oh what a difference 981 miles makes on geography and the gardening soul.  Although we uprights have been working hard on clearing out storage units, I must say I’m savoring our walks around the neighborhood where Wayne used to live before we head over to the units every day. Having lived in Colorado for nearly a 100 years, I do double takes whenever I’m somewhere where gardens look markedly different. Trees and plants here in California are so unusual to my Rocky Mountain eyes. Italian cypruses, lemon trees, evergreen (but not pine) trees, deciduous trees with leaves (in February no less!) AND of course, the ubiquitous palm tree thrown in for good measure simply make my head spin. Where I would normally see plants like these on table tops, you’ll see them outside in gardens around here. IMG_2526


In the Sacramento area where we’re staying, there are tons of sweet gum trees that have prickly seed pods. They are everywhere and one can only imagine how the trees look when in bloom. Right now the pods are all over yards, patios and sidewalks. How’d you like to step on one of these puppies retrieving the newspaper in the early morning? Yeah, me neither. Even Sam has started looking where he walks in the backyard (though he still runs into the patio door with some regularity-dingbat dog). 😉

Am planning on taking a bag of these land mines gum tree pods back home with me–think they could be spray painted and turned into a real showy door wreath with a little creativity. Time will tell…that and whether or not they continue to hurt like the dickens while being handled. O-u-c-h!!

Sweetgum tree seed pod

Live, love, bark! <3

24 thoughts on “Differences

  1. Seeing different plants is one of the best things about traveling. I got so excited when we saw our first palm trees in the Alligator River (but no alligators). And here in Southport, North Carolina I’ve come across our first Spanish Moss.

    I hope you’re enjoying exploring your new setting.

  2. Ack! I picked up about 500 of those “prickle balls” (as my husband and I like to call them) from my yard after the latest El Nino storm! On the positive side, it is nice to have flowers blooming and fruit ripening all year long…and there are always hummingbird and lizard visitors to the garden all year round. Had hummies for only about 1 1/2 months in the summer back in Colorado.

  3. I didn’t realize you were talking about liquidamber trees until I saw the pods. I never heard them called sweet gum trees before! They’re very pretty in the fall! It’s all the fall color we get here in San Diego. But, yeah those little pods… they look like miniature medieval weapons!

  4. I would love to see a lemon, orange or apple tree with fruit on the limbs! I imagine they taste incredible. We have sweet gum trees and those balls always hurt. I used to run with my Golden Retriever and I tripped on one. I performed an unplanned somersault and limped home. LOL! They are dangerous but would make a nice decoration. ☺

    1. Ooh gosh, with my luck I’d probably break my neck tripping over those balls-gah. I broke my leg stepping on a crack in the sidewalk! I wish I could have seen the lemon tree in bloom-the scent is paradise to the senses. 😉

      1. Be careful, CA “Border Patrol” doesn’t like it when you take things that don’t belong to “you”… Just ask TSA in Hawaii (since you can only leave by plane or boat)! They make you throw ALL of your food stuffs out, including fruits, veggies, seeds, etc. that aren’t Ag-Dept approved.

  5. If you bring one of those pods to Colorado and you drop it on the ground and it grows and reproduces, you’ll have an entire state that hates you.

  6. noooooooo destroy all the pods. Don’t risk them taking root anywhere! They do not look good in bloom. They are awful trees, and these dang balls are like ball bearings. I have slipped on them so many times in the past. Cole gets one in his pads and can’t stand it. We paid thousands of dollars to take down a gum that dropped branches on our car. We want the one in the back but another two thou is beyond the pale.
    These trees are not good. Beware… take home a palm.
    :LeeAnna and Cole who says, I agree!

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

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