Winter blooms

You can tell it’s winter in this part of Texas when the milkweed pods finally pop, just as the last butterflies are fluttering through. I hadn’t even noticed this milkweed vine growing up around the spiky branches of a volunteer retama in our front yard until its floating white hairballs started spreading across the yard. I don’t know why it is that wild vines do so well in this little zone behind the factories at the edge of town, but in the woods between us and the river, they grow thick as rope, so old and strong that they are coated with bark, draping the dark of the urban forest with shadowed lattices that bring out the Gothic and eventually bring down the trees that aren’t strong enough to resist.

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