Box Elder Gold on Ice

This is the junkiest, ugliest tree in the neighborhood—a female box elder.  Not only does it drop seed pods constantly throughout the year, but it also harbors box elder bugs.  Most of the time these red bugs stick close to the tree, but during especially hot, dry summers, they reproduce like crazy and attempt a neighborhood-wide infestation.  Box elder bugs are innocuous but messy, leaving their droppings all over cars and sunny walls.  I really hate this tree.

But, to be fair, I was struck this afternoon by how brilliantly its remaining seed pods shimmered like gold against the blue sky.

Female Box Elder in Winter

I also got a smile out of Milwaukee’s version of a fly in amber, below—a twig encased in ice.

twig encased in ice

Box elder, I believe 🙂

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. My blog is a space for playing with ideas about creativity, innovation, lifelong learning, and the nature of "insight."
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