A Washington Post article this morning called these little winged maple seeds "samaras," but we've always called them "helicopters." Every year about this time they rain down from the maple trees for a couple of week. Since we have a big maple overhanging our deck, driveway and walkway, they are everywhere, making a mess and generally being a nuisance. But today I took a few minutes to really look at them and realized that they make quite interesting patterns on whatever surface they cover.
Paul said I should be sure to show you the tree they come from. Hard to believe that such a giant came from such a tiny tree.