Little Balls of Fire | Letters | Chicago Reader

Little Balls of Fire 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

To the editor:

Michael Brownstein's July 15 article "Summer Snow," about the seeds billowing from his backyard cottonwood tree, is a thoughtful meditation on the lives of people and trees. But it failed to mention the most wonderful characteristic of the gentle, white puffs of seed: they are highly flammable.

With just a touch of a lighter, the undulating clumps of seeds in the gutter erupt in a fireball--and fizzle moments later. The white sheet of seeds on lawns near the trees turns into a short-lived carpet of flame. The seeds burn too quickly to set anything else ablaze; all that remains is the odor of smoke.

If Mr. Brownstein--or his neighbors--wants to eliminate the seeds, he should send the kids around with cigarette lighters on hot June nights. It's a powerful, intoxicating sign that summer has truly arrived, to see cottony flakes rain from the trees only to be incinerated in brief bursts of flame.

Marc Schoenberg

N. Seeley


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
King Hedley II Court Theatre
September 12
Bossa IV (DJ set) Sleeping Village
October 13

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories