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No, it’s not a helicopter, no it’s not a plane. It’s not even a butterfly.

It’s a seed pod from a Japanese Maple, starting to get all blushed and preparing to drop and flutter all the way to the ground to drop its seed at the end of summer Watch for them when they’re ready, and drop one to watch its wings rotate like mini helicopter blades. It’s called a double samara, apparently.

The theory is that they’re supposed to catch the wind and scatter, but judging by the number of little seedlings going ballistic at the bottom of our trees from last year’s scatterings, I don’t think they travel too far.

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Ah, the ever-changing face of a Japanese maple.

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