Friday, December 2, 2011

Milkweed Takes To The Wind

The winds of November and December take part in milkweed seed dispersal. 
Recently, the evening sun spotlighted some silky seeds that were preparing for a wind dispersal event.
Wind dispersal of milkweed seeds
   That picture looks a bit like a studio photo, but it's a photo from out in the milkweed patch of a milkweed seed pod and its parachute seeds, .
   Milkweed's seed dispersal method is one that utilizes lots of light, fluffy seeds floating on the wind.  Some of the seeds will land in unfriendly places and some of them will land on the right kind of ground with good growing conditions.
Catch a breeze Fluffies!
Milkweed seed dispersal method - parachute seeds
   Also, when seeds are sown to the wind, some seeds are transported "far and wide", and some do not make it to the "far" or the "wide"....like the milkweed seed caught on the spruce branch on the far right of the picture below.  But, hey, dropping close to the mother plant works well....the conditions are obviously good for growing a milkweed patch right here, eh?  Perhaps one of the other seeds will catch a good breeze and clear sailing into some other clearing that's good for establishing another colony. 
Whose woods these are I think I know.
Their house is in Philly though; 
They will not see me stopping here
To watch their milkweed fluffies sow.
                                                                                   - something about that picture
 led me to mix up a verse of Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

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