Gumballs

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Before I moved to North Carolina, I thought gumballs were those giant bubblegum balls you could get from a machine at the entrance of a store.  You put your nickel/quarter in the slot, turn the handle, and the ball would drop and roll into the cup below.  Then, I moved into a house with five giant sweetgum trees. They are a Southern specialty, very prolific in their production of spiky gumballs. The balls produce seeds that open and drop out or get eaten by birds in the Fall. The hard shells, covered in sharp spikes, keep falling all winter long. Just when you think you have raked the last of them, the wind come through and down comes another layer! As you can tell, I like the sweet bubblegum balls much better!

Sweet gumballs // all sugar

Not found on a Sweetgum Tree

Fall gumballs dropping

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Hard prickly seedless shells

Hundreds cover my backyard

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

20 thoughts on “Gumballs

  1. Reminds me of the proliferation of pine ones from our evergreen trees. They cluster at the top and blow off with every windstorm. There seems no end to them! And yes, I remember those gum ball machines. Never did like ‘em!!

    Liked by 1 person

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