Wings Like Green Moths

September 12, 2013

“They are nearly two inches long by one-half inch wide, with veined inner edges to the wings like green moths, ready to bear off their seeds.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Faith in a Seed

Watercolor sketch of maple leaves and seeds

Watercolor sketch of maple leaves and seeds

“In all our maples, a thin membrane, in appearance much like an insect’s wing, grows over and around the seed while the latter is being developed within its base. . . . In other words, a beautiful thin sack is woven around the seed, with a handle to it such as the wind can take hold of and it is then committed to the wind, expressly that it may transport the seed and extend the range of the species, and this it does as effectually as when seeds are sent by mail in a different kind of sack from the Patent Office.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Faith in a Seed