Liquidambar styraciflua

gum balla
The earliest known published record of Liquidambar styraciflua is in a work by Spanish naturalist Francisco Hern├índez published posthumously in 1615, in which he describes the species as a large tree producing a fragrant gum resembling liquid amber, whence the genus name Liquidambar. In John Ray’s Historia Plantarum (1686) it is called Styrax liquida. However, the first mention of any use of the amber is described by Juan de Grijalva, the nephew of the governor of Cuba, in the year 1517. Juan de Grijalva tells of gift exchanges with the Mayas “who presented them with, among other things, hollow reeds of about a span long filled with dried herbs and sweet-smelling liquid amber which, when lighted in the way shown by the natives, diffused an agreeable odour.”[11] The species was introduced into Europe in 1681 by John Banister, the missionary collector sent out by Bishop Compton, who planted it in the palace gardens at Fulham in London, England.–Wikipedia

The fruit people love to hate, gum balls. Goldfinches, purple finches, squirrels, and chipmunks eat the seeds of the tree. The long-persisting fallen spiked fruits can be unpleasant to walk on; sweet gum is banned in some places for this reason–Wikipedia

dusk bike ride

Slabtown Road sign and cloud
At 8:00pm I rode a five mile loop of state roads. I saw two bald eagles in a clear cut perched on top of trees. I saw a committee of crows beefing at the eagles, sitting on horizontal wood littering the clear cut. In the course of the ride I was never passed by an automobile

Cow Oak

3 swamp chesnut oaks
Named for French botanist, Frances A. Michaux, who wrote a three volume treatise on the trees of eastern North America. Called “Basket Oak” because baskets were woven from fibers and splints obtained by splitting the wood. These strong containers were used to carry cotton from the fields. The sweetish acorns can be eaten raw, without boiling. Cows consume the acorns, hence the name “Cow Oak.” Swamp chestnut oak is considered an early succession species with mature trees retarding growth of understory vegetation due to an allelopathic effect.–Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Quercus michauxii- in its final Autumn the progenitor swamp chestnut oak had a prolific mast year, it created and released thousands of acorns, too many for the squirrels and bluejays to carry away. Several hundred of the acorns sprouted and made it to yearling status. Deer grazed many of the saplings out of existence. These three remain, the largest individuals in a thicket of QUMI.