Have you ever really looked at these Maple seed helicopter thingies up close before? Every year at this time I curse these crazy things. They're everywhere. Even now, that my big tree is gone, another Maple in my yard is still sending these spinning earthward by the thousand. The other day I was outside sitting on my front steps watching them rain down. I picked one up and studied it like it was for the first time and they are really beautiful things. They even have a beautiful name, Samara. They are also amazingly engineered. Most mature Maple trees are fairly large shade trees, so in order for the seeds to have any chance at germination, they have to be able to travel far enough from the tree's canopy into the sunshine. Thus, the whirly-bird design. Pretty cool, huh?
Last year, I had a feeling that my tree was in trouble, so when it dropped all of it's seeds, I collected a few dozen of the prettiest ones that I could find. I was sitting the other day thinking of my Canadian friend, Karen and I remembered the seeds that I had saved. Karen made me think of them, as the maple is the national tree of her homeland. Anyway, I got the seeds out and made molds of several of them. I riveted the silver pods to some pendants that I made and then layered 22 karat gold onto them. I enjoyed making them and they'll always make me think of my tree and of my friend, Karen.