Milkweed fluff is a great wind indicator. A few floating strands will let you see how the wind currents are moving in your area. Powder or string wind indicators are only good right where you are, but milkweed fluff floats through the air a long way, which gives you an excellent idea how the currents are moving in a larger area. They are also quite visible in early morning and late evening low light conditions.
One pod will supply enough fluff for a long time. Harvest the pods after they are open. Pinch all of the milkweed strands, as best you can, and pull them from the pod. Knock most of the seeds off into the trash to avoid spreading the plant in unwanted areas. Stuff the fluff into a small canister, like an old 35mm film container or small pill bottle. Keep a good grip on the pinched fluff all the way into the container or you will have milkweed flying everywhere! Toss the container into your day pack so it’s handy when you need it. This is a great, natural product to help you keep the wind in your favor.
Comments From Milkweed Wind Indicator
Roger U. wrote: If you drill a 3/8″ hole in the bottom of the film canister you can remove the milkweed from the bottom a little at a time. I keep a toothpick inside the canister in case I can’t remove some with my fingers.
Tom S. wrote: Milkweed is the best for a wind indicator, but I leave the floaters in the pod instead of removing and putting them into a container. I wrap a rubber band around the dried pod to keep the floaters contained. It’s easy to pinch one or two at a time and release them. I never allow seeds to be released. Most of the seeds will stay in the pod if the rubber band is tight enough.
Kevin P. wrote: I like the idea of using the milkweed seed as a wind indicator. We don’t have milkweed in central Saskatchewan, but we do have lots of cattails. A small cattail head in one of my fanny pack side pockets would serve the same purpose. You also will be spreading the seed of a beneficial plant.
muskrat1 wrote: On the tip about using milkweed fluff, you said to throw the seeds in the garbage to prevent their spread. As I understand it, Monarch butterflies feed on milkweed plants. For years now I have been spreading the fluff for the Monarch’s use.
Kent G. wrote: I’ve been using the Milkweed Wind Indicator for years and have recommended it to others as well. My tip is to take a pair of scissors and make sure to snip ALL the seeds off the fluff so as not to take any chance of contaminating an area that doesn’t already have milkweed.