Thick chunky bark, glossy green leaves, trunks that show off diameter and seedpods of cotton waiting for launch are some Cottonwood tree traits, but the trait I like best can be heard better than explained. It's the sound of a multitude of leaves clapping in the wind and sounding like water rushing, trickling or pulsing.
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
We eventually let go our cushiony idea and released our cotton stuffing to the wind, mused about the superiority of "field cotton" and wondered where the downy seeds would land and grow.