Gumball Invasion

We have around 50 trees in our yard. It's not that we have a big lot, but our modest sized lot has a lot of trees on it. So many that grass only grows in designated sections of the yard which have been cleared to provide sufficient light. Everywhere else, nothing will grow so we mulch it. Such is life in North Carolina. Now, I don't mind. Growing up in the desert and being right tired of it by the time I left, I like a lot of greenery around me. And less grass means less to mow. But my wife would love to cut half of the trees down so that she can grow some other things of her choosing.

A number of these trees are liquidambar styraciflua or as they're known around here, sweetgum trees. They have a leaf that looks a bit like a maple leaf and turns a lovely red color in the fall as well. That part I really like. But they also produce a crazy number of seed pods that blanket the yard and are a nuisance. They're hard and round and a bit of a hazard because they can roll when you step on them. And they hurt like a $%^*&~^%# when you step on them with bare feet! We usually pay our kids to get rid of them with the blower, but we didn't get around to it this fall so we still have a bunch of them. I put a few to use today to get some macro shots.