Blue Skies in December; Sweetgum, Pine, Cat

Sweetgum ready for its close-up

Sweetgum ready for its close-up

A few colorful leaves stayed on, and warm days lingered; a long-lasting autumn actually isn’t unusual at our southeastern US latitude. We had all the outdoor decorations we needed. The forest would not let me go, the treetops kept me zooming.

A whirl of branches, leaves

Swirling

Spot the seedpod

Spot the seedpod

The sweetgum fruits remained high on the trees; most are still up there as of early January. In the “Heartbreak Light” post they were greenish but they are now a ripe ruddy brown. Sweetgum generally isn’t a popular tree, but ours have been lighting up the place over the last few months. The green in the background is pine.

Bud is a skilled supervisor

Bud is a skilled supervisor and editor

Bud the editing cat wants his byline moved towards the top of the post. Here he supervises the sending of Christmas greetings. He has a beef because another cat appears on one of the cards. “Meow, that’s NOT me. Meow.”

Very far up at the top of a pine tree

Sunny day in the canopy

Pine cones came on strong this year! After perusing nature guides and Internet sources, I think this is Longleaf Pine. But LOL, pine identities can be perplexing, so don’t hold me to that!

About 50 feet up

About 50 feet up

The sky - a detail

The sky – a detail

Trees are close together.

In a gold light

In a gold light

Sweetgum spheres still up there.

Abundance

Abundance

Blue invaded by wispy clouds

Blue invaded by wispy clouds

Partly cloudy changes everything about the light!

Darkening and softening

Darkening and softening

Forever green

Forever green

Bright sun lights the leaves

Bright sun highlights red leaves

In January, leaves are now gone, pods are – still clinging to the upper story! I actually found one on the ground yesterday. Pine cones are staying attached to pinetops. Birds and squirrels are partaking of them. I found one pine cone on the path that looked to be chewed up.

Into and beyond the branches

Beyond the branches

I can imagine stepping onto the branches, if I was small enough. I love the density, the thicketness, the branch criss-crossings so tricky to sort, the complicated visual feast. I don’t know if the pictures appeal, or if it’s only my fancy, I just know the sights grab my glance and I’m lost, staring and searching, every time.

Moulting in style

Moulting in style

Flashy ending #1

Adrift in blue, with a light wind

Adrift in blue, with a light wind

Flashy ending #2

Leaves will crinkle and fall

Leaves will crinkle and fall

Well then, flashy ending #3

Leaves take their leave, eventually

Leaves take their leave, eventually

OK flashy ending #4

Beguiling autumn

Beguiling autumn

Stop …

Reds look redder when the sun is brighter

Reds look redder when the sun is brighter

I can’t …

The creek pictures would have made this post too long so there will be a second December post, coming soon. Then I do have to get back to the book …

 

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About Catwoods

I'm a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
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36 Responses to Blue Skies in December; Sweetgum, Pine, Cat

  1. Lauren says:

    Bravo! So glad you’re back to prowling and capturing the beauties of the Catwoods.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. DS Levy says:

    Ah, I so love looking at your gorgeous photographs, Leah — and I also enjoy reading your poetic descriptions of them as well. I just love trees — they’re so regal, so utterly perfect, nature’s perfection. I could look at them all day, and I don’t blame you one bit for taking many photos of them (I do too!). And Bud … What an adorable, handsome fellow he is! Wishing you all the best on the completion of your book — woohoo when it’s done, right? Have a wonderful weekend (and thank you again for that info on feline renal failure)!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much, Deb, it means a lot to have your support! I love trees too, but strangely, this is the first autumn I spent tons of time looking up at the treetops for photos. Thanks also for the good wishes on the book, I need them, LOL! Bud, the unassuming, uh, I mean egotistical cat, thanks you too as he just loves to hear his praises! You’re welcome about the info, I’m just glad to be of help if I can.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliantly done shots! I love all of them!😺

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Cate says:

    Wonderful colors and textures. I appreciate your appreciation for the trees. You take the time to truly see them– and what marvelous variety and numbers!.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. abbylynn says:

    great photos. nice to see those autumnal colors now that trees are bare here (upstate NY), although with scant snowfall this year (so far), I can see green on the ground here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much, abbylynn, I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures! I’m looking back on the colors now too, since the leaves have now all fallen. We still have traces of wintry green around, too. Strangely, they’re even talking possible snow for us later next week!

      Like

  6. Thanks for your latest, like, on Elm Drive Images.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. claire says:

    Great shots! I also love the “upward gaze” often blocking pathways as I stand transfixed at some sky/tree scope.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. RMW says:

    This is why I do not send out cards with images of other cats… as you know, felines can be very egotistical!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mary Rowen says:

    These pictures are so beautiful. Especially now, being in New England with the eternal white sky.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Catwoods says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mary! I’m happy if the pictures help people get through winter; I’m not fond of winter myself, and working with the autumn pics always helps me. Although it’s rare, today we had a wintry mix for awhile; sleet is coming down tonight, and we’re headed towards a sub-freezing low. I know it’s nothing compared to what other regions are getting today, so I hope everyone stays safe and warm!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. chattykerry says:

    Ah, so these are sweetgum spheres? I kept wondering what they were. The nearest equivalent in Scotland are teasles and I don’t know where they come from. I did hear a local Texan say that the sweetgum spheres were the bane of his barefoot childhood. Ouch!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Catwoods says:

      They are sweetgum, but calling them ‘spheres’ is just something I do. I think they may commonly be called ‘sweetgum balls’. I’ve heard of people stepping on them and actually getting hurt, and most people don’t even like the tree or its litter on the ground. Everything about the the sweetgum tree fascinates me, but the fruit is a bit hazardous when it falls where people walk.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. terrepruitt says:

    Sweetgum? Oh, I never knew the name, I thought it was that-stupid-round-poking-thing-that-hurts-so-bad-when-you-step-on-it!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I like your photos of the pinecones up in the trees. Never thought to photograph that. Ditto for the sweet gum spheres. I never seem to notice them until they are on the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catwoods says:

      Glad you enjoyed the pictures! This is the first year I thought to look so far up into the trees and try to get pictures of the pinecones and sweetgum fruit. Now I wonder why I never thought of it before. It took the sweetgum spheres forever to fall this year – now they’re all over the ground, more than I’ve ever seen. Most of the pinecones are still up there.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. zennfish says:

    oh, the colors! love them..beautifully captured.

    Liked by 1 person

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