While chasing a decidedly camera-shy Common Buckeye butterfly yesterday afternoon, I came upon a fleeting segment of natural wonder.
Beneath a patch of zinnias an asclepias seedpod was having a moment. Walls of the okra-shaped pod had separated, revealing rows of seeds attached to white, silky threads.
Patterns in nature are fascinating and here the seeds are aligned, held back by gentle tufts of silkiness.
I went inside to grab some clippers imagining this would make a great focal point for a floral design.
In my brief two-minute absence nature carried on with its script, sending the necessary amount of wind across the flower bed, releasing the seeds into the world. Wind dispersal sends seeds away from the parent plant, in this case carried atop silky parachutes. Stunned it had happened so immediately I failed to even photograph the mostly bare stems left behind.
Eventually I managed a distant shot of the butterfly, a satisfying consolation and another fine example of nature’s fondness for pattern.
You were really at the right place at the right time. Great shots!
Indeed. It all happened so quickly. As always, the more one is in the garden the more fun discoveries one sees.
Those seeds are so pretty. I would have been tempted to touch them, which would probably have ruined their fluffiness. Great timing Susie!
So funny, Cathy! As fluffy as the silken parts were it didn’t occur to me to touch. But would make sense. I like the shape of those seeds but couldn’t think of a word to describe it.
Gorgeous, seed heads can be absolutely fascinating and very beautiful. I am growing Honesty just for the seed heads.
Thank you. Honesty has a gorgeous pod. My neighbors used to have the prettiest ones.
That is one of the most amazingly beautiful seedheads I have ever seen. Such incredibly delicate colours and strong unusual structures, the same colours as the butterfly too!
Isn’t it just? And all that beauty of the seedhead combined with purpose for ensuring the next generation.
Gorgeous photos – and so much better than staring at TV news reports.
Thanks Kris. Watching ballots being counted is like that old adage about watching paint peel.
Beautiful!! Thanks Jane >
Thank you Jane!
Fabulous images, this looks like something from Fantasia.
Thanks, the seedhead really is amazing.
I think Asclepias seed pods are my all time favorite – wonderful living works of art, not to mention the delight of seeing dozens of dancing fairies sailing away on the breeze.
Yes, works of art! I have had a book since college days called Abstract Patterns in Nature and I’ve always admired the way the natural world works.