Deck The Balls

Do you like my hanging balls?

Here is a Saturday Squirrel photo that I saved not because of the squirrel… it’s definitely not a very good picture of him.  No, this one got spared the dreaded recycling bin because of its eye-catching background.  What in the hell is going on behind that squirrel?  Even through the lack of focus, you can probably make out the telltale shape of the roundlike objects that are suspended like pinatas in midair if you live anywhere near where sweet gum trees grow.  You’re just not as used to seeing them actually hang in the trees as you are stepping on their spiky, pain in the ass exteriors while they’re piled up on the ground…

People seem to have almost as much of a love/hate relationship with sweet gum trees as they do squirrels.  While the trees are beautiful and were popular for planting in Midwestern and Southeastern American suburban yards the 20th century, each Spring they unleash thousands of these thorny seed balls on the ground which make for a very treacherous landscape for pedestrians.  When I was growing up, the neighbor two houses down had a sweet gum in their front yard near the sidewalk, and it was almost impassable for months after it had dropped its load.

Nature’s minefield. (Not my photo)

I would imagine the squirrels hate stepping on these hazardous pains in the ass as much as people do.  Every tree seems to have its own annoying…. um, sperm it showers on all of us below at a certain time of the year.  The sweet gum afterglow won’t make your nose run or feed the squirrels, but it sure leaves a giant fucking mess, and will do everything in its power to keep podiatrists in business…

Have a great weekend everyone, and watch where you walk!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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23 Responses to Deck The Balls

  1. Trisha says:

    So that’s what kind of tree grows those weird spiky balls! I’d been wondering about that, having seen some strange looking spiky “fruit” on a tree in our neighborhood last summer. We must not have many sweet gums because those little balls seemed quite alien to me. I’d surely remember stepping on them!

    • What I read says they’re more common in the Midwest and Southeast. You’d definitely remember them if you ever had a sweet gum growing anywhere near where you had to walk. As a kid, they were nice for throwing at people who annoyed you…

  2. How fortunate they all fell in the tree’s canopy circle. Most of the time Ive seen them bounce EVERYWHERE but near the tree. Happy Saturday.

  3. Sadly we have one of those trees in our front woods…..thankfully very few of those balls from hell make it OUT of the woods into the clearing so I rarely step on one but when I do – they are hard as rocks. I bet that squirrel is thinking how much fun it would be to pluck one of those things off his tree and chuck it at an innocent passer by????!


  4. ghostmmnc says:

    I’d never heard of or seen any of these kinds of trees and spikey balls before. But in my daughter’s yard in Missouri there was one. We were wondering what on earth they were! 🙂

  5. draliman says:

    Wow, those things look dangerous. I hope Mr Squirrel knows to stay in his tree.

  6. Ladybuggz says:

    Those are great to throw at people! ha ha ha ha…

  7. I like your squirrel and the hilarious and (ouch) what that would do to your feet mess beneath the tree.

    I just spent two full days on the phone with either Apple or Microsoft customer/technical service. Microsoft was easy. They took over my computer and tried to see what they could do to make it accept the new update and discovered they couldn’t do it and were going to have to go back to the drawing boards. But THEY did all the work. I just let them use my computer to test their project.

    APPLE on the other hand, has been a total pain in the ass. TOTAL pain in the ass. But it’s why i’ve been missing in action. i haven’t had time for anything but these stupid phone calls.

    • I did notice your absence, and am two days behind on reading (as I usually am this time of the week). If you’d like a handful of sweetgum balls to throw at any of the technical “support” who can’t fix their own equipment, be my guest…

  8. Thank you for knowing what these trees were and sharing the information. I will consider this my something new I learned today.

  9. Ally Bean says:

    We had a house with a sweet gum tree and we paid neighbor kids 5¢ for each ouch-y ball they picked up and brought to us. Except for those annoying balls, the tree was a gorgeous addition to the yard.

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