Recently, I looked out my window and saw a massive swarm of beige butterflies. They seemed to glide and shift with the wind, as if the air itself was guiding their motion. As I continued to watch, I noticed something strange about these butterflies– they weren’t flapping their wings.

Instead of butterflies, I was seeing an abundance of one-winged seeds as they quickly twirled to the ground. As a kid, I called them “helicopters” and flung them into the air to watch them spin downwards, pushed here and there by the breeze.

Kelley V. Phillips is the Communications & Outreach Manager for Red-tail Land Conservancy. She strives to cultivate wonder in nature and action to protect it.