People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure.
Today I have planted milkweed seeds that I collected from the prairie restoration in the park behind our house. I only took a few seeds. But look at the floss! It so light and fluffy and soft. No wonder it is used as a down substitute. General Henry Dearborn gave this account of milkweed use in the Massachusetts Horticultural Register in the late 1820’s:
“The silk, when taken from the pods, and being freed from the seed, is hung up in thin bags in the sun, and when perfectly dry may be used without any further preparation, instead of feathers, horse hair, wool or cotton, for cushions, bolsters, pillows, mattresses; and coverlets. From eight to nine pounds is sufficient for a bed, bolster, and two pillows. It is lighter and warmer, when used in forming coverlets comforters than cotton, or wool, and nearly equal to eider down.”
Grow little seed and provide food for the Monarch Butterfly caterpillar. And nectar and pollen for bumble bees and all the other pollinators and insects that can benefit from an abundant nectar source. And floss for lining the humming birds nests.
How sad is it that in the foolishness of man, and in the greed of corporations, that this amazing plant is included in The Noxious Weed Act of Manitoba to be destroyed with poisonous chemicals! Please read about this plant and then read The Noxious Weed Act of Manitoba. And if you agree that we need to treasure our wonderful flowers and plants of Manitoba….and not poison our land and water with toxic chemicals, please call your MLA and the Minister Kostyshyn
Manitoba is where I was born and where I have spent most of the five and one half decades of my life. I lived on the outskirts of the town of Portage La Prairie at a time when tadpoles and frogs inhabited the ditches and ponds, when there were many Monarch butterflies each summer along with dragon flies and grasshoppers. Redwing blackbirds perched the cattails of the ditches. As children we picked dandelions for bouquets and made wishes before blowing dandelion seed heads. We searched clover for lucky four leaves and rolled on the grass…there was no concern of poisonous herbicides. The grass was thick. Wherever we dug…there were earthworms