Milkweed

When I was a kid, one of the things I looked forward to every fall was taking the fluff from the milkweed seed pods and releasing it into the wind to watch it fly.

It was so soft and fluffy, and pretty too. I didn’t know it at the time, but back during World War II, children were encouraged to collect milkweed pods.

The fluff, which is very buoyant, was used to fill life-vests and flight-suits, and during the war about 5000 tons was collected and used. Today, it is used as a hypoallergenic filling for pillows.

Occasionally, the kid in me still likes to take the fluff and release it to the wind.

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