November 12, 2012
The most common milkweed plant in Yosemite Valley is putting on its last show of the season. The large, woolly seedpods have split open, releasing the feather-like seeds to be dispersed on the gentle fall breezes. These two- to four-foot-tall plants are conspicuous in many meadows, including Cook's Meadow, where these pictures were taken. This time of year, American Indians would collect the dry stems of milkweed plants to use as a source of natural fiber. After it was processed, it could be used for weaving or making twine and rope.
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Did You Know?
Natural fires in Yosemite are often no more than a single burning snag (standing dead tree) or a slow moving, low intensity fire that cleans underbrush from the forest floor. These fires prevent unwanted fires by removing accumulating forest debris that can fuel a larger fire in hot, dry conditions.