Saturday, October 15, 2011

Meet the Sycamores

Although our new place is roughly only about 150 miles from the old one, the terrain and flora are much different here.  I am enjoying my time getting to know the plants and trees that we have here on the new homestead (even though we lived here many years ago, I wasn't into "nature stuff" then).  I'm trying to get to know them as well as I can.  Many are old friends and some are completely new to me. 

One of the most wonderful things about living here is enjoying all of the mature (huge) trees.  Not so great for gardening but very stately and beautiful to look at. 

At the old place down in the Ozarks there were SO many oaks.  It seems like that's practically all there were!  Ugly oak trees that grew too close together.  The leaves turned a dull brown color in the fall and hung on until spring.  Boring.  Here we have interesting Oaks whose leaves turn a beautiful deep red and fall off the tree, Maples, Elms and lots of others I haven't gotten to know very well. 

I've been trying to figure out for some time who the giant trees in the front and back yards are.  Up toward the top the bark peels away to a white smooth texture.  "Birch" said my husband.  Giggle.  "No, sweetheart.  Not birch.  Birch doesn't grow that big!"  These guys are probably over 70 feet tall and really wide.  Big trees.

So one day I'm downloading an ebook from the Homeschool Freebie of the Day.  It was a very nice book about identifying trees.  As I start going through it I stumble upon the discovery that our mystery trees are Sycamores.  See, I had always wondered but just never took the time to figure it out.  And then the information just dropped into my lap.  "Hi!  My name is Sycamore.  I've seen you out and about in the neighborhood and thought I'd introduce myself."  ;-)

(I cannot get far enough away to fit the whole trees into the pictures.  Sorry.)
The Sycamore in the front yard that gives lots of shade to our RVs.

The Sycamore in the back yard.  (the old house in the background
is abandoned and not liveable.  This is the back of the house--our RVs are in front of it)

Looking up.

The leaf on the left is just about 11 inches and the one on the right is a little over 3 inches.
We've seen leaves bigger than the big one and some smaller than the small one.

The smooth white bark showing at the middle to top of the tree.

The rough, chunky bark at the base of the tree.

The seed ball that becomes fluff and flies away in the spring.

I've wondered for many years what fall would be like here when all these enormous trees lose their leaves. And now we get to experience it!! Fall is my favorite season. :-) I'm lovin it!!

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