My first memory of a milkweed plant dates back to elementary school. I can remember going for a walk with my mom one evening along the road that runs in font of our house looking for something to take to school, likely for show-and-tell. Why I picked milkweed I can’t remember–maybe mom does–I just remember picking some pods and taking them to school.
Now, all these years later, I’m still seeking out milkweed. And really, I don’t have to look very hard–they’re all over our acreage. Although considered a weed, they are actually quite beneficial and planting them is encouraged. They are a natural bug repellant and play an important role in the lifecycle of monarch butterflies. Monarch’s cannot survive without milkweed plants–the caterpillars only eat the plants and the butterflies need the milkweed plant to lay their eggs.
As a kid, I remember being facinated by the white, milky substance that the pods contained. As a photographer, I’m facinated by the silky seeds that escape when the pods open in the fall.