Throughout the breezy day, swirling clouds of yellow tree pollen and floaty seed pods were launched into the air with each gust of wind. And in the weeks since they’d fallen to the ground, the sycamores’ seed balls had gradually been flattened under numerous feet and squashed into piles of seed fluff, which now billowed and rolled in the wind, collecting in huge drifts at the edges of lawns and walkways and curbs, in the corners of stone walls and tree roots and flower beds.
It was the sort of weather that made the humans sniffle and sneeze, but Mama Chipmunk had been looking forward to this day. She sent her grandchildren outside in pairs, each with a giant two-handled basket between them, which they filled with springy seed-pod ropes from the birch trees and piles of sycamore-seed fluff. After returning home with their baskets full to the brim, they would help their grandmother re-stuff all of her fluffy, downy pillows, which had gone a bit flat since last spring.