One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there,

If you’re new to the Blogging From A to Z Challenge, Sundays are free! Nutmeg forgot, right up until she looked on the calendar to confirm her letter days. The first year she entered the challenge I–Hickory Squirrel, here–filled in for her free days with a column of my own creation. Ever since, The Squirrel Nutwork has run a quiz for fun on Sundays, posting a photo and asking you human readers, what is it?

So here we go! Might be easy for some and hard of others.


Give us a guess in the comments. I’ll be back this evening to reveal the answer!


We had a correct guess today! These are maple seeds, or samaras. Our guesser wasn’t sure which maple species, but in this case, it’s easy to tell because of the red hue to the seeds. This is from the Red Maple tree.

In our neighborhood we have other species of maple as well, so we leaped around today to check them. Surprisingly, not all of them had samaras–but those trees were not native species, so something else may be going on with them–the Norway Maple and the ornamental Japanese Maples. The one that did is what we thought was a Silver Maple.

maple samaras

The samaras are much larger and they flare out, which according to our field guide, isn’t the shape they should have. You can bet we’ll be taking another look at that tree’s leaves.

If any of our readers have another type of maple and want to send us photos of the seeds–preferably with the tree identified!–we’d love to see and post them.



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