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A good use for sycamores. March 31, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, wit and wisdom.
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Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood may be the only people on earth who think sycamores are ugly. Their leprous trunks with weird bulges all over them make our friend Ben think that some mad scientist combined the genes of a silver maple and an Appaloosa, and the Appaloosa is still trying to get out.

But on Sunday, we finally found a great use for sycamores. We’d gone to a grocery that’s across the road from a huge corporation that has a line of enormous sycamores planted along the road in front of its corporate headquarters. Normally, we try not to look at them. (The rest of the landscape is actually lovely; lots of crabapples and other flowering trees.) But this time, as we waited for the light to change so we could head back home, our friend Ben spotted a Cooper’s hawk flying into the crown of one of the sycamores.

Sure enough, it flew to its nest and began feeding its nestlings. How exciting! Unfortunately, before we knew it, the light had changed and we had to move on. But as we passed the row of sycamores, we counted three more hawks’ nests. Hooray!!!

We’ve been hearing the young redtails screaming for food in the woods across from our rural cottage home, Hawk’s Haven. But to actually see a hawk at its nest was a real treat. It was almost enough to make me forgive the sycamores for looking so revolting. At least they made¬†sturdy platforms for the nests!



1. lzyjo - March 31, 2009

I have plant terror of certain plants. Sycamore would be one of them and Japanese Knot weed another. I am just so terrified of the way these plants look that I won’t go anywhere near them. I have never seen baby hawks in a nest, that is very exciting!

It was thrilling, lzyjo, and the nest’s just ten minutes from here so we can keep an eye on it. I just hope that, when the fledglings make their first flight attempts, they don’t land in the road! Japanese knotweed and kudzu are both pretty scary.

2. Gail - March 31, 2009

Hey, I love this tree! I think the mottled bark is wonderful! Now I have more reasons to love it…Hawks. Do you think you might come to appreciate its charms! gail

You know, Gail, I was thinking about that this morning, and it occurred to me that if I saw a sycamore in its natural setting, in a mature forest, I might find the pale trunk awesome in the heavy gloom of the forest canopy.

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