I know you shouldn't collect catkins in the nature. They are important food for the bees in spring. Don't blame me ;-)
There is a huge willow on my daily walks with Omo and I love to watch the catkins grow, every day. Yesterday the workers from the town had cut the willow down and I asked for braches. I collected them from their lorry. The others ended in the shredder. So I feel sad, but not guilty.
The willow will grow again, it has a lovely place at the river Gersprenz...
I love those little caps and the softness of the new catkins :-)