Quite a few other people have blogged about this plant, but it caught my fancy today, so here is my version of a familiar fall sight in the eastern United States. As I looked out over the field, it almost reminded me of the "fairies" I tried to catch in September. But of course it was ... the lowly milkweed.
One characteristic of all milkweeds is their pointed pods, often growing at odd angles from the main stem.
Inside are ranks of seeds with silky hairs attached. But when they are inside the pod they are packed tightly together in ranks. They almost look like a pine cone! I just love how they look and feel at this stage. If you run your hand over the "cone" with the grain, they feel smooth and yet powerful. You can almost sense the compressed energy held in that bundle.
Once they are freed from the pod, watch out! The hairs spread out, turning the seeds into little helicopters ready to transport their life to the reaches of the neighborhood and beyond.
I just like this next one. Its one milkweed seed caught on a seed head of the Queen Anne's Lace. It looks like a fireworks display that is being devoured by some monster spider.
A few years ago I collected pictures of a number of different milkweeds. You can see them at the link below. Tomorrow, if I can find the picture from a few years back, I'll show you how the fall colors are different this year.
|See Milking the Weed|