Helicopters, whirligigs or just plain old sycamore seeds (not being a dendrologist or ever arboreal, a tree generally speaking to me is a tree – certain ones excepted) but before you shout out in frustration I believe this may actually be an acer seed (although is a sycamore an acer ? … I’m confused). If I am wrong please forgive my ignorance – or if I’m right please feel free to congratulate me on my horticultural knowledge.
No matter what you call them, I’m sure it will bring back childhood memories to anyone who has thrown them up in the air and watched them flutter back down to earth.
It was very breezy yesterday – and hence tons of these seed pods were being blown off the trees in the local park making my dog go loopy as she tried to catch them mid-flight.
I think it’s their random motion that confused her – unlike thrown balls which have a relatively uniform trajectory these whip around in a very chaotic manner.
I don’t remember the green ones so much though from my childhood – maybe the brown variety with the single blade I’m more familiar with are the actual sycamore seeds and these ‘acer ones’ mere impostors.
I through experiment also believe that the single bladed versions fly longer and much further, taking much longer to hit the ground – sort of questioning Galileo’s concept of all free-falling objects accelerating downwards at the same rate (to be fair in his discovery he was obviously ignoring air resistance and aerodynamics and only concentrating on the effect of gravity – but as he also was responsible for stuff such as the discovery of Jupiter, the Rings of Saturn and Ballistic parabola I will magnanimously on this occasion forgive him !).
But fly these must have done as you appear to randomly find Sycamores (Acers ?) everywhere – years, decades, millennia of evolution meant that these seeds must have spread around through their propensity for flight …. or is it just that over the millennia children from those of Neanderthals to our present ones picked them up from where they originally landed close to the mother tree and threw them back up in the air giving them additional propagation opportunities over the boring seed pods of other trees that are left to develop where they lie ?
Whatever the case they’re more fun than beechnuts !