Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Two months ago I was spraypainting a lot of "treasures" I collected during some previous trips until I was completely repelled by the toxic smell of the paints. Those treasures include the unknown fruits I picked over a year ago in South Carolina. I finally found out the name of the plant: liquidambar styraciflua (American Sweetgum, Redgum) and its lovely fruit's nicknamed "space bug", "monkey ball", etc. A more exciting discovery was that there are actually such trees in my neighborhood, so I can collect more this year!

Being a North America native, sweetgum has been introduced to many parts of the world. In Gus van Sant's My Own Private Idaho, sweetgum ball is seen at a farm in Rome, where a native girl holds it in her hand and speaks out its beautiful Italian name.

Pine cone, is the other major "victim" of my spraypaint. I love these small-sized cones gathering on a branch - just like dried flowers after being colored!

Now I need to find "greener" ways to color them :)

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