Every year for a few weeks in May, the cottonwood trees shed their seeds. There are a bunch of them in the neighborhood by my office, and when there’s a bit of a breeze the effect is quite startling. It literally looks like it’s snowing outside because there are so many cottonwood seeds floating through the air.

This was the view out of the office window this afternoon:

Click the image to see a larger version and notice the “snowflakes” everywhere. This was probably average for the day– at times it was a bit lighter, of course, but at times it was much heavier. You couldn’t walk without getting the seeds in your eyes or mouth.

It also collects on the ground and truly looks like snow from afar.

Since it’s pretty warm these days, I leave my car windows open a bit during the day. The seeds find their way through the cracks (how could they not, given sheer volume?) and when it’s time to go home I roll down the windows and drive six miles, streaming cottonwood out of both windows as the wind blows through the car. Pretty funny stuff.