5258720472_7d15c20b1b_o(Time-lapse video below)

Thought for the Week

It’s that time of year (where I live) when mock daisies, a.k.a. dandelions, begin popping up all over our neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no purist. I like my grass sprinkled with winsome violets and sprightly feral strawberries. But dandelions are different, they don’t share, they don’t “sprinkle,” they want it all! So I crawl around on my hands and knees every spring, mumbling, “Damnedelions!” pulling them up before they can seed a thousand more of their brethren. Because dandelions are selfish.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with them: Love the flowers; hate the forest of bare poles that remains after their pods fly away, and even more so their jaggy, ground-hogging leaves. Which, it turns out, are the source of their name–dandelion means “lion’s teeth” in French. In fact, we North Americans have the French to thank for introducing them, along with bikinis (a hit) and snails (a miss). Early French settlers fed on salads made out of dandelions. We feed the lawn care industry with them.

I always thought there were two types of dandelions: the cheerful little daisy type and the magical puff-ball type that every child knows are public transportation for fairies. But I was wrong. It turns out they’re the same plant. After their yellow flowers wilt, their seeds gather into spheres called “clocks.” Like the cleverest of invaders, having stayed close to the ground until now, their clocks spring up in temporal bursts of beauty, causing us to admire them even as they take over our lives. Which, come to think of it, makes them…

Like a lot of humans.

Here’s a cool time-lapse video of the process:

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
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45 Responses to “Damnedelions!”

  1. A. L. Kaplan says:

    But they taste so good!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow… good description, Mitch. (I too like the violets that are rampant here right now. ❤ )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Victoria says:

    Oh my — you nailed it — the description of what I hate the most about dandelions: …”the forest of bare poles that remains after their pods fly away”. YES! I hadn’t put that together at all. 😎

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Paula Light says:

    Sounds like a Stephen King story…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I will confess to annually taking on these particular demons. After several years, their numbers in our yard have in fact gone down substantially. I have no taste for them, either as decoration or food. They have plenty of other places to thrive, and I wish them well in those habitats, Mitch.😃

    Liked by 4 people

  6. A family dandelion story*

    During the Depression my great-grandfather Charles worked for a rich family in a big city. One spring day he was driving the rich family’s Matriarch past a park when she noticed a scattering of people busily collecting something from the lawn.

    “Charles, what are they doing?” the Matriarch demanded.

    “They’re collecting dandelion greens to eat, Ma’am. Dandelions are best when young: full of vitamins,” my great grandfather answered.

    “Dandelions? Why don’t they buy lettuce at the store like decent folk?” the Matriarch asked.

    “They have no money,” Charles answered.

    “I shall stop and render aid,” the Matriarch decided. She sat on a blanket and enjoyed the spring sunshine whilst directing Charles where to harvest and who to offer the greens to, and even took some greens home and directed the cook to make a salad for her so that she could find out what poverty tasted like.

    (*Abbreviated from the story as told by my grandfather)

    Liked by 6 people

  7. rwfrohlich says:

    I’m about to begin my annual dandelion stomping. I have this clever digger that inserts spikes into the soil, surrounding the root. A stomp sets them and a good yank plucks the weed roots and all from the lawn. You’ve come up with a great name for these pretty/ugly, lawn defiling plants.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fascinating seeing the process of something I have seen but not seen so often.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This made me smile. Dandelions so much like us!!! A love ,hate experience, a pull and push away. Then a fly away to leave a legacy!? Thank you for sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. C.A. Post says:

    When the damndelion folds in at about 13-16 seconds on the video, it makes me think of an alien invader preparing for subjugation of the human race! 😱

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love the video and its musical accompaniment.  Love dandelions too.  Any klutz can grow them, even me.

    When many people see a dandelion, they see a weed.  I don’t.  In German, I see Löwenzahn, the Wagnerian Heldenblume that thrusts green and gold into the grayest and grimmest of our cityscapes.  In French, I see Dent de Lion, the Enlightenment philosophe whose call for liberty and rationality rides the wind.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I remember a strange little game. As a child, in my small rural town, we plucked the yellow dandelion blossoms and would rub it on a friend’s chin; if their chin became yellow it meant they liked butter. It’s a rather pointless and silly game. I think everyone’s chin bore some yellow if rubbed with enough pressure.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. In my youth, I ate dandelions plucked from the abundant dandelion crop in our front yard. Now I buy bagged salad greens with dandelions. Yum! Bumblebees agree. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. The video is very cool! I’ve never minded dandelions on the lawn (unlike my husband).

    Liked by 3 people

  15. jilldennison says:

    Dandelions are actually my favourite flower, for they are wild … I’m no fan of flowers all neatly lined up in beds … and also because they are essential for the bee population! I despair every year when I see people killing them with chemicals or mowing them down the second one pops up. They hardy little flowers, though, and will almost always defeat humans’ efforts to eradicate them! Still, I don’t hold it against you for pulling them up. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Linda Lee @LadyQuixote says:

    I would far rather have a yard full of dandelions than the goat head sticker weeds we get here in New Mexico. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Andi says:

    Well, that was beautiful video. I love your delightful writing of this post. One of my favorite all-time posts now.

    I feed the bees and birds with my dandelions. My son feeds his tortoises. So we treasure them! 😄Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. K.L. Hale says:

    Oh, wow, Mitch! Such a cool video! I loved making bracelets and wreaths~a dandelion child~as a young girl. Now, I feel more like you on this topic. I do like dandelion tea! The hit and miss is funny! Take care, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. They’re very healthy to eat!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: Dandelions Are Human Weeds | Mitch Teemley

  21. I didn’t know there was only one type of dandelion–and thank you especially for your conclusion!

    Liked by 1 person

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