Fireweed fluff

Fireweed fluff: a close up view of the seeds from fireweed (aka rosebay willowherb). It was amazing to see how tightly packed and perfectly arranged they were inside the pod.

Another shot from my daily-photo project of 5 years ago. Fireweed is a remarkably pretty flower, yet it often gets overlooked on account of it lining clearcuts and logging roads. Somehow it picks up that association of the downside of improved backcountry access – at least for me and a few of my hiking friends. Of course it doesn’t just grow in the backcountry; I found a patch on Marine Drive heading up to UBC and earmarked it to photograph in full bloom. That didn’t happen, and so I stopped on my way up that hill one morning to admire the seeds as the fluff was beginning to disperse. As I poked one of the pods with my finger, it burst open and the seeds in the photo above began to float away. I was stunned by the intricacy of the seeds that lay within – it was really quite beautiful to see, and I spent quite a few minutes just admiring them. I’ve tried poking fireweed pods several times since then but none have popped open in this way. It really must have been absolutely on the verge of opening.

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