They crash to the ground like hand grenades, gnarly and unforgiving. Step on one and you’ll regret it.

They fall from heights reaching 30 feet, depending on their source.

They are deeply Southern in their heritage. Their birth mothers are considered to be integral to the beauty of the Lowcountry.

Their origins, the magnificent magnolia tree, can indeed be a thing of beauty, but also an unwelcome addition to the yard. Sprawling limbs threaten roofs. Rubbery leaves destroy landscaping. And, yes, those voluminous seedpods fall. And fall. And fall.

But this year, through the intervention of a crafty neighbor, many trips to that money-pit of a big-box art supplies store, and the knot-making talent of one’s husband, those hand-grenades were transformed into angels.

During that time of transition I learned much. First, the glue gun is a marvel and a critical instrument in the art of crafting but, apparently, one is not supposed to touch the hot glue. I am imagining that criminals already know this. It’s a cheap, if not painful, way to destroy those identifying swirls known as fingerprints.

The art supplies store is a world unto itself. Having never been to our local store before, I now stand in awe of the many things one never knew one needed until one wanders the aisles and determines that there are things there that one cannot live without – the reasons for which are not immediately apparent but will surely become so in time.

One also must buy those cunning containers in which to store one’s newly acquired bounty. One spent much more money than one should have. And one regrets not a single penny of it.

Even given all of that, those nasty pods became smiling angels. Some had lopsided halos; others had smudged faces and frayed wings; many had globules of glue in the wrong places but, all in all, they were pretty good. And they were made with a certain degree of affection and love.

Most of them have flown away into the hands of friends. Happily, I hope.

I’ve heard from one friend that her angel is standing guard over the computer. The angel’s mission? To stop the computer’s owner from pitching it out the window in piques of frustration. That’s a big order. We’ll cross our fingers for her.

But first we need to figure out a way to unglue them.

Sallie Collins enjoys living on the banks of the May River and writes about it in her blog,, from which this article is taken.