Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pesky, but perfect

It is easy to become annoyed by the cottonwood seeds this time of year. They fly into your eyes and face, and they stick to everything that is wet… whether that’s a sweaty face and neck, or a yak that’s being pulled from the water. The fluffy specs turn into a scum that gets particularly thick in eddies where the current slows. Look closer at those side ponds, and you’ll see the helicopter seeds of ash, maple and box elder, as well as floating chestnuts, pine cones, and the seed pods of American elm.

As annoying as the cottonwood seeds can be, they are taking the current for an important ride. After the breeze drops them into the river, the river carries them to a place where they can wash ashore and take root.

One cannot curse the cottonwood seeds, and then celebrate the thick tree stands that border the river. They are mutually dependent.

© 2009 Mike D. Anderson, St. Michael, MN. All rights reserved.

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