I figured I’d make an end-run around my problem by looking this one up in the actual paper wildflower ID book. But I couldn’t find the book. So, with great trepidation, I googled the name I knew from the dusty, dark recesses of my mind for this botanic sample: pussytoes. Just to be safe, I paired that word with “wildflowers”. Whew! Safe!
And correct! They are known as pussytoes! For the serious minded, the genus is Antennaria, with several species across North America.