Milkweeds are fascinating plants. The “milk” it secretes is toxic to most animals and actually contains latex. In fact, during World War II, both the Germans and Americans tried to harvest the milk as a source of natural rubber – neither found much success. The milk was also used as a folk remedy for removing warts and soothing poison ivy reactions.
The floss is coated with wax and is superior to goose down as an insulation. The U.S. harvested over 11 millions pounds of milkweed floss for use in WWII coats and life vests.
Perhaps most famously, the milkweed is a food source for monarch butterfly larva.
I would have overlooked this photo, but I was amazed at how sharp it turned out. With a slight breeze blowing at the time, the floss was all over the place… I took two shots and gave up getting anything in focus.
Sometimes luck is better than skill and patience… not a lesson to live by, but a viewfinder lesson nonetheless.
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM