The Sycamore Squeeze

To squeeze a Sycamore ball is a seasonal pleasure, and the season is now.
Now is when last year’s clusters of Sycamore seeds start to fall and to fall apart.
For the next few weeks, they’ll disintegrate into drifting piles of loose, fluffy achenes: Sycamore “snow.”

To squeeze a Sycamore seed-ball is oddly satisfying.
Call it a Contemplative Practice.
Call it fun or sick or weird, but try it.

The Sycamore Squeeze is one way to get to know Where—and When—you are.

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Winter Tree I.D. by Fruit

Here’s one way to I.D. a tree in winter.
Let’s call it “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”1

I made this dry-erase Key to help a couple of friends in the neighborhood who want to learn nearby trees.

It won’t work for all trees, but it’s decent for local, deciduous street trees that still have fruit on branches or on the sidewalk. 

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Yard Nature: Free Chives

[Bagel from Bruegger’s, china from Spode, “wild chives” from the Mayflower]

I grew up eating what Mom called wild onion. It showed up in the yard as free food. The long, hollow leaves were good to chew, as were the bulbs, but those were too intense to eat raw unless cheese and crackers were involved.

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How Your Tree Helps Wildlife in Winter

Sugar Maple leaves with pupa; Persimmon; Oak leaf with gall; Red oak acorns

“Wondering how trees help birds and wildlife survive a Nashville winter?”

That’s the first sentence in my short piece at The Nashville Tree Conservation Corps, called “How Your Tree Helps Wildlife in Winter.” My goal was to highlight “essential services” that only native trees can give to our birds, butterflies, and other animal neighbors.

Even if you already know the answers, take a look? Are there other stories I should have included in the allotted word count? We all want readers to fall in love with what native trees can do.

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Robins for Thanksgiving

The Robin ‘Hood show is starting. Nashville ‘hoods keep robins all year, but we get an influx of winter robins, too, and right now all the robins are appearing in a hackberry near you.

November is the month I love hackberries all the more. 
And, it’s the month hackberry haters hate them all the more. 
The same reason explains both: ROBINS.

The Sidewalk Nature pic below is another Robin “hood:” the hood of a car. Surely the driver must was from out of town, because locals know better than to park under a hackberry full of robins.

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