Saturday, April 29, 2006

The 'Copters Flew the Coop


I knew they would, of course. They get so antsy to do their dance, spinning to the ground from their lofty perch. It's their job to carry their seeds as far as the winds will take them. They love to fly!



I took this picture the week before Easter, just before we left for Hannover. I wanted to see them spin around but was sure they wouldn't wait for my return (they really are antsy!). I was right. On my walk yesterday, here at home, they were gone.

Did any of you grow up calling these Maple tree seedlings "helicopters," I wonder? Technically they're called samaras and are the fruit of the tree, but I didn't know that till just now.

Once the seedlings hit the ground and split apart, still soft and pliable, we'd moisten them in our mouth (like my clarinet reeds in 5th grade!) until they were just right for whistling through. It was definitely a knack and we'd try to out-do each other, back in my early Michigan days.

Would I still be able to do it today after all these years? Hmmm. Haven't a clue. Maybe they'll be more patient for me and give me another chance next year? Or just seeing them spin around again would be nice!

30 comments:

  1. We always played with helicopters but I've never seen them so pink before! They're gorgeous!

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  2. Yes, we threw them in the air and called them helicopters as well, but like Kim I haven't seen them in that beautiful pink colour. Ours were pale green and brown.

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  3. TO: Nor have I seen them so pink. I'm guessing they ended up green by the time they flew away?!

    Christina: I love it when we all have similar childhood mem'ries :)

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  4. I have never seen a pink one...here they are just green and referred to as tumblers and helicopters I believe. I love them when they have been on the ground for a while and all the veins begin to show...that is when I draw them :)

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  5. I haven't seen pink either. This photo is spectular; I want to frame it and hang it on my wall. You brought back the memory of "playing" the copters in your mouth. I think I only watched and listened, in awe.

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  6. DW: Do you know if other trees beside Maples have this kind of "fruit?" I wonder if it's this particular Maple that has the pink ones. So many questions, so little time!

    Ruth: Oh, now we must remedy this situation and get you to try one! You can awe yourself :) Thank you for your very kind comment on my photo. That means a lot coming from you, Sister!

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  7. Same memories.. But pale green were ours!

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  8. Thank you for your kind words.
    Well, I learnt the expression of “Do bears poop in the woods?!” for the first time.
    And so, I found that my question is “stupid”. I feel awkward. Ummm. Forget it! Hehe.
    Ah, I have a REASON that I wrote “occasionally.” The reason I did NOT write "sometimes" is that my English skill is NOT highly.

    I like samara. Samara expresses “wing” and “fruit” in KANJI. I think Japan has a lot of pink color. I played with it likes helicopter when I was a child.

    Nori

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  9. I also know them as helicopters but have never seen them in this pink color before :-)

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  10. MP: Okay, next year I'm gonna pay more attention to if this particular tree's fruit goes from pink to green before it flies away. That is, if I'm home next year!

    Nori: Oh my. Your English is SOOOO good, you do NOT need to ever apologize. If I could write Japanese half as well as you write English, I'd be a happy camper! But do you have your own blog where we can come visit you? And you have the PINK type of samara! So I wonder if this tree is a type of Japanese Maple? I say a type because it's not like the ornamental Japanese Maple that sits on our deck. Anyway, thanks for stopping by again.

    KPK: So does that mean you have them in Germany?? Or are you talking about another place. I meant to ask Christina if Germany has these helicopters.

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  11. I never played with them and it is the first time I see this colour. Samaras are a familiar view in a country where maples grow everywhere and give a national dish (maple syrup)

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  12. Ours were brown, and we never whistled through them, but we used to love to throw them up in the air and watch them spin. We called them helicopters as well.

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  13. Thank you again for your gentle comment. I study hard to IMPROVE my English skill.

    Well, we have the pink type of samara. As you say, it is Maple tree. Several types of Maple blossom are pink.

    By the way, I don’t have blog. In my present English skills, the update will become ONCE a MONTH.
    Brog ONLY of 12 days A YEAR!!
    I think NOBODY visits such blog. I don’t visit, of course! Haha!
    But I think that I want to strive to start my blog within this year. For that purpose, I work away English.

    Sincerely
    Nori

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  14. Yes, we have a small maple out front, just the regular kind, not ornamental, and it too has helicoptors, but they're just green turning to brown as they dry.

    I'v never tried the whistling thing - that would be fun to show the kids.

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  15. Ginnie - I've never seen these flowers or what you are talking about. It must be an east coast thing or something... Or I've just never seen or noticed it. I've only seen brown like Christina.

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  16. Mei: OK, now you need to round out your national spirit and whistle through one of them! It might take practice but it's definitely doable :)

    Mr. Fab: They always end up brown and brittle, at which point they're UNdoable. Gotta ctach them when they first fall from their perch, or within a couple days, when they're still pliable.

    Nori: Well, you could have fooled all of us! You're doing a great job practicing English and I think you may be ready to start your blog NOW!

    Christina: Rats. I guess I was noticing too many other things. OR maybe the 'copters weren't far enough along yet! So if they're just coming into bloom, I MUST double-dare you to try it and show your boys how! Keep us informed :) You have a small window for doing this, as you know. Get them before they turn brown!!

    ET: Hmm. I never saw pink till these but we did have them in Michigan--the green ones. You DO have Maple trees in Vancouver, don't you? Maybe you've just never noticed the seeds. And maybe not all Maples have the 'copters? Don't know.

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  17. I'm going to start reading your blog just so I can read Nori's lovely comments :)

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  18. Wait! I meant that we DO have them but the helicopters aren't out yet. I just checked the tree and it doesn't even have any leaves yet. :-) You must be weeks ahead of us, if not months.

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  19. TO: Isn't that the truth! We all need to encourage her to start her blog.

    Christina: HA. Now you have time to get your courage up and tackle that tree! I can just see you. Make sure you take pictures :)

    BTW, our late bloomers, the oaks, were just buds when I left on Easter but are now full-grown! Spring has almost completely sprung here in Atlanta!

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  20. I'm amazed at the international presense of your blog! You go girl!

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  21. That's a beautiful photo! I've never seen any of them pink at all before. And the terminology of copter for them is new to me, too. However, It does make sense.

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  22. We played with those "helicopters" as well. We had four big maple trees in our front yard. I never tried ti whistle through them, though, but we did whistle through long grass! That was fun! Ah, those memories :-)

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  23. Rachel: Isn't it fun! It's a small world after all :)

    Tim: Don't you love it when we get our education from each other :)

    CS: Grass counts, as far as I'm concerned :) Now when you get back to Canada, you can round out your repertoire. Yes, the mem'ries!!

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  24. Don believes the pink ones (that we have too apparently, though I haven't seen them yet this year) are box elder. But I can't prove that on the internet . . .

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  25. So funny you call those "helicopters", in french, we used to call those "hélices" that means helix! And I still like to play with those here, in automn, when, in front of my apartment, the sidewalk is full of those. And now that I think of it, it is strange because there is no maple in this area, just big elm tree... Now, I will be looking for maple tree on the other street nearby...

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  26. Ruth: Don may be onto something there! Another name for the Box Elder is
    Manitoba Maple
    , but I can't tell if the leaves are the same. Maybe. I'm still researching it :)

    Clo: I just love that almost all of us around the world know what these "helicopters" are. Well, I hope there are some maple trees on the other side of the street because if not, you may have a world record for how far they have flown :)

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  27. LOL! Yes, I do have to check that, because it sounds really "bizarre". :O)

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  28. Those are so cool, i've never seen anything like that before!

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  29. HA, Madretz! So glad you got your education :)

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