The Wonder of Milkweed
The weather here has suddenly turned glorious. It is sunny and warm and beautiful, and lucky me - I had scheduled Thursday as a vacation day. My husband and I had been talking about a backpack trip, but in the end, mostly because it is dark so long now in the evenings, we decided on a day hike instead. So we headed out to the woods of Sproul State Forest to visit Pine Glen, one of our backpack sites, but just for the day.
We stopped at Burger King in Bellefonte for hot breakfast sandwiches and the biggest size hash browns they offer. (I always giggle when I remember a friend who calls them "knockout tots," after a friend of ours ate some on a work trip and then passed right out for hours in the front seat.) Given that we are in a time of mourning for Dexter, we figured it was OK to spoil ourselves and get the larger size. Boy, were they good. Fuel for the hiker!
And then we drove to Sproul, parked the car in a parking lot along the road, and grabbed our daysacks and chairs and headed for the campsite known as Pine Glen. Alex the Alligator and Little Bear and Tiny Tiger came along. And almost instantly when we got there, T. Tiger found a little string from my tent that I had apparently left there last time we were there. That's a heads-up call, little Tiger! Well done. . . .
When we are there, we are usually camping out, with tents. But we didn't have our tents along this time, which felt sort of puzzling to everybody, including me. Putting my tent up is usually the first thing I do. So with free time, I could sit and read my book instead!
When we were done hanging out at the campsite, we went in search of the little pond in the woods above it. It is an elusive pond, and sometimes we find it and sometimes we don't! I always think of it as our own personal Brigadoon. Anyway, though we did find it, the water was very, very low. Pennsylvania has had a dry summer and fall, and it shows. There were animal tracks all around it where the critters come to drink.
And then back to the car we went. There were lots of amazing milkweed plants on the hill above the parking area, and so I took my camera and noodled around with it a bit. The plants were covered in seed pods, and the neat patterns of the seeds seemed very cool to me. There's the bonus aspect of the white angel-floof, which is silky and soft to the touch, and feather-light.
I absolutely ADORE milkweed, so I took some close-ups and some monochrome shots, and then I did my part: I took several pods and scattered their fluffy, angel-hair contents to the winds. For, as Thoreau has said, I have faith in a seed. Go! Grow! Feed the caterpillars! Let's grow some butterflies!
My soundtrack song is for the scattering of seeds of hope to the four winds: Tears for Fears, Sowing the Seeds of Love. Music video. Live performance.