Mystery Fluff

Every June in Ottawa (and probably most of Ontario) you will see areas of sidewalks and lawns covered in white, fluffy puffballs. I’ve always wondered where they came from but wasn’t curious enough or in too much of a hurry to find out. Today, while spending time at the park with one of the little people, we came across a huge patch of fluff. Kids are wonderfully curious and when you spend time with them, quality time, you tend to slow down too. You take time to rediscover a curiosity you forgot about since childhood. We picked up the fluff and felt it’s softness in our hands. We noted the little seeds they carried inside. We searched the nearby treetops for the origins and found one tree, in particular had quite a bit of fluff in it’s branches. I was having difficulty telling whether the fluff had been caught in the tree while blowing through the air or whether it originated there. This is where technology comes in handy. We Googled “trees with white fluff” on my phone and found that Poplar trees are the creators of such curious seed pods. Indeed, the tree we were eyeing was a Poplar. Fascinating things you discover when you stop to look.

Poplar seeds

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2 thoughts on “Mystery Fluff

  1. You should have asked your trusty neighbour. I know all about the glorious Poplar tree. We had a huge one in our yard growing up and its white fluff was the bane fo my mother’s springtime existence.

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    1. I was actually wondering if you would know. We had poplar trees along our house too but maybe they weren’t mature enough to make the seeds. I don’t remember the fluff at all. I noticed the wet fluff was very sticky. I can understand your mother’s viewpoint!

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