This time of year come the Spinners. These little helicopters are everywhere right now, and are simply marvels of natural engineering. I cannot get my mind around the absolute genius of the apparatus, grown onto the maple limbs and branches like dragonfly-wings, and which leaves the tree with the seed up, succumbs to gravity and flips in mid-air, and has the built-in rudder and rotor to ease its way to the ground with the flight taking it sometimes yards from the tree, and landing bolt upright in the grass or on anything handy to prop against.
When I planted the three two-inch-high little trees in the front yard, I’d given no thought that one might be a GIRL tree, with thousands of the little whirlybirds to spin off into the lawn and take root amongst the turf every Spring. Some of them fall straight and true in the grass, standing rigid like little golden soldiers:
Others seem to congregate like a scurry of tadpoles for safety in numbers:
And still others group in little cliques, like the Kewl Kids on the playground:
One year when I was doing so much morning walking, I’d have to step out into the street for several blocks along, just to keep from slip-sliding on the great tides of the fallen pods, lying like great shoals of green, tender fish along the sidewalks. And dried and gold---just a few of the whispery wings on smooth ground will slide your feet right out from under you.
These fellows are a mystical marvel of Creation, and even allowing of the evolving---how in the world LONG did it take for the seed to grow a tiny projection, then how many eons yet until that became a fin, then the swell of the shape into a wing, shaped perfectly to whirl the seed on the wind and deposit it neatly into the undergrowth, with a head-start toward the soil. There's definitely a PLAN there.
Aren’t these things just a mysterious miracle?