Fall in Michigan spans three spectacular months that is heralded in August by Queen Anne’s Lace in the roadside ditches and early Ginger Golds in orchard stands. Come September the deep scarlet blush in the swampy end of an inland lake is accented by the clear purple of New England Aster standing out against the tawny masses of Golden Rod. By Equinox the orchards are ripe with apples, corn mazes, fields of pumpkins, families and tourists. When October arrives the heart of Autumn begins and nature gets down to business.
I love October but it carries some petty human miseries. To take my mind off the aches I want to share the joys of a West Michigan Autumn. I’m a pretty lax blogger just chock full of good intentions and not enough time but this season of the year is so rich, so full of warm, nurturing things that I want to celebrate these next two weeks and post daily to share the joy of Autumn.
We were cash poor but the Autumns of my youth were rich in natural toys, milkweed being one of the best. Who hasn’t stood in the back pasture, city lot or side of the road and cracked open a pod to release it’s flossy ‘parachutes’?
You already know milkweed is vital for the Monarch Butterflies but did you know it played an important part on the home front of WWII? Usually considered a weed Milkweed was grown as a crop right here in Michigan. It’s fascinating stuff and if you’re interested you can read on in the links below:
Milkweed goes to war:
Here’s another article, this from the Washington Post:
We also used to collect the empty pods and spray paint them for dried floral arrangements. In retrospect, and old pictures, they weren’t as elegant as 9 year old me thought they were but fun was had and memories were made and that was the point. People still craft with milkweed pods. Check it out:
And, you can also buy bags of Milkweed floss on Etsy (Seriously, who knew? I wonder what buyers do with it.):
Do you have milkweed in your country? Did you play with it as a child?
I hope I brought you some happy memories today. Thank you.