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The American Sycamore Is Stuff That Works

This is a Sunday series that I  call Stuff that Works. Each Sunday I pick an item that is for me a foundation element in my line up of stuff that matters or as legendary Texas singer songwriter Guy Clark put it – “The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall.”

American Sycamore overlooking my camp site on a recent trip

Summer in the Midwest is hot and sunny. Few things bring more relief during those months than the shade canopy of a tall, sturdy Sycamore tree. The distinctive peeling bark sheets and platter sized leaves of mature specimens make them one of the most magnificent trees in the forest.

They grow easily in throughout the Missouri forests and on many a canoe or camping trip along the Buffalo or White Rivers in Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas you can find massive, centuries old sycamores inviting you to take a nap in their shade.

I’ve done my share of reading and writing perched against the truck of a tree. My parents gave me the gift of appreciation for nature by raising me and brothers and sisters on 40 acres of wooded creek and farmland and trees have always been the grandparents of the outdoors for me – providing, watching, shading, and hugging back.

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