Today’s subject is maple seeds. You know–those little things that look like insect wings and twirl like helicopters.
The freaky hot and cold snaps and wet and (mostly dry) spells have us wondering whether we’ll get a decent vegetable crop this year. But this we know for sure: It’s been a super year for sugar maple tree–possibly the best year ever.
I can’t think of a time I’ve seen more of those wispy things. They fill all our rain gutters, every sidewalk crack. They’ve turned parts of our formerly green lawn light brown. In the garden, away from the trees, there are so many seeds that it’s difficult to see the rows where tiny green shoots are coming up.
So I’m giving over today to contemplation of the little seeds because, let’s face it, not a whole lot is going on in the vegetable part of our yard.
Mainly, I’m talking about finding some uses for the little buggers. Anything that comes free in such quantity ought to have a use, right? Here’s what I found on the Internet:
* Some wilderness survival sites say they are edible. I’m not sure how hungry I’d have to be before joining the squirrels, who eat them enthusiastically. But this is one site that claims the young pods taste like peas or hominy after you boil them for a bit. Supposedly, it’s better to do this while the pods are still green, meaning you’d have to jump up or get a ladder at our house. The brown ones we’re sweeping off the sidewalk would be bitter. As with anything totally new, you don’t want to eat more than a couple the first time, in case of food allergies. And of course if you’re allergic to tree nuts, don’t try it at all.
*Jewelry and crafts. Who knew? But at Etsy, there are numerous pieces of art, computer wallpaper and jewelry inspired by or even made out of real maple seeds. Like these earrings
*Let them inspire you…When people aren’t mowing, sweeping, scooping and raking up maple seeds, it seems they are being inspired by them. For instance, you can make your own origami maple seed that flutters just like nature’s own (as if you needed another one!) Here’s how:
Biomimicry…In a story that is equal parts creepy and cool, Treehugger reports that engineers have worked out a way for the physics behind maple seed flight to be made into a boomerang-sized drone. The drone could be used by soldiers to check out an area before they go in. If you click on the link, be sure to watch the video of some test flights of the eerily whining little machine.
So as you see, the endless elegance of natural design is always amazing. But does any of this make you love picking those seeds out of your gutter any better?
Posted by: Roxie