This is one of my all-time favourite photographs.
The capsules of this unidentified species of Chamaenerion angustifolium (or fireweed) have split open, revealing a mass of seeds tufted by silky white hairs. As you might guess, the hairs aid in wind dispersal. Since wind-dispersed seeds can travel long distances, this species is likely adaptable to the conditions it requires for germination and growth; seeds which only travel a short distance are more likely to find conditions similar to the parent and can therefore be expected to have more specific growth requirements. There are disadvantages to the short-distance dispersal strategy, though, particularly for perennial plants; these include potential for inbreeding and competition for resources.
Photography resource link: Petteri Sulonen’s Why Most Landscapes Suck. I should qualify this link by saying that even though I add a link to a photography resource, I may not actually agree with some or all of the opinions therein. I do, however, subscribe to the notion that thought-provoking articles are worthwhile, particularly if they force (re)examination of ideas and beliefs.