Sometimes a the most humble of objects can be used to great advantage. This proved true during WWII when kapok became unavailable to stuff the U.S. Navy’s life vests. Thinking outside the box led to using milkweed floss for this purpose.
Across the Midwest, counties launched campaigns for schools to compete for the most floss picked. I have met some of former students who vividly recall school letting out so they could scavenge the fields and ditches for this valuable white stuff.
A couple of years ago, with milkweed becoming scarce, I stopped along the road so our granddaughter could enjoy the feel of this fine, shiny floss.
Of course, we discussed the need for more milkweed for our monarchs, and the unique role its floss played during World War II. History lies right around us every day!