I spent half of my life in a tree as a kid. Whenever my Mother couldn’t find me in the house, she went to the front yard and there I was…hanging by my legs from a sturdy sycamore limb or teetering at the top of the tree yelling, “Wow, I can see the downtown hotel from here!” I was skinny and wiry and not afeared of much of anything, especially heights. (It makes me dizzy just writing about it now!)
Sycamore trees were the tree of choice for any serious connoisseur/conisour/connaisseur (who knew that word could be spelled so many different ways and I’ve probably skipped a couple?!) of tree climbers. Their bark was very smooth compared to a live oak tree and grow extremely solid limbs that support scrawny kids easily. A sycamore tree also has a great main leader that allows said skinny kid to scoot right up to the top if they so desire. (My stomach lurches as I type.) AND, sycamores have the coolest little balls that make superior ammo!!! And beautiful Christmas tree ornaments if sprayed and dipped in glitter. Lots of glitter. Those little balls that we always called “sycamore balls” (brilliant name!) are actually called “buttonballs”. And NOW you know!
But the best part of sycamore trees and the fine art of climbing them was the camaraderie that went along with! My next door neighbor and I spent hours in our tree…as grade schoolers, junior high dudettes and high school too-cool-for-words teens. Our mothers were fearful we’d still be climbing that tree the day before we got married! Oh the talks we had. And the tales we told. I only wish I had a pic of us in that tree. I’ve looked and found nothing so far. But I have the next best thing…granddaughters doing exactly the same thing we used to do.
PS We also got into trouble in that tree. Seems cars passing under said tree didn’t appreciate being bombed with buttonballs. For Pete’s Sake, they were just tiny little things falling randomly out of the tree. Some people just can’t talk a joke….