Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ode to the Dandelion

Dandelions are blooming all around town and along the roadsides. Already dainty white puffs of seeds are floating through the air. I welcome these cheery early blossoms to the valley but must confess that I do not really want them in my yard. As Andrew Mason says, “If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.” But they are not hard to grow. Hal Borland expresses my frustration, “You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out, in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity.”
None-the-less here is an ode to this beautiful blossom:
To the Dandelion
Dear common flower, that grow’st beside the way,
Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,
First pledge of blithesome May,
which children pluck, and, full of pride, uphold,
High-hearted buccaneers, o’erjoyed that they
An Eldorado in the grass have found,
Which not the rich earth’s ample round
May match in wealth, thou art more dear to me
Than all the prouder summer blooms may be.

My childhood’s earliest thoughts are linked with thee;
the sight of thee calls back the robin’s song,
Who, from the dark old tree
Beside the door, sang clearly all day long,
And I, secure in childish piety,
Listened as if I heard an angel sing
With news from heaven, which he could bring
Fresh every day to my untainted ears
When birds and flowers and I were happy peers.

— James Russell Lowell

14 Comments:

Blogger In Otter Space said...

I agree! Don't want them in my yard, but they come anyway. And sweetly they remind me of my oldest brother Robert.

When I was a youngster I found this old pot in our basement that just reeked to high heavens. I called my mom who dumped it out. Later when Robert came home from high school he was so angry at me for dumping out his homemade Dandelion wine. He brought me to a prarie and made me pick those darn yellow flowers for hours. Then he took me out to Dairy Queen for a cone.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Pam in Tucson said...

I was given a clear lucite block with a delicate dandelion head in full seed embedded in it - how on earth are those made, I wonder? It's a reminder of golden fields of dandelions, the fun of blowing the seeds away, their persistence in growing almost anywhere - especially where you don't want them. Your photos are beautiful and clear, and as always accompanied by fine prose and poetry.

11:07 AM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

Lovely post. For the most part, we have stopped trying to control the dandelions here. They always win!

11:19 AM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

I have a new appreciation for dandelions: Yesterday I watched a newly fledged house finch picking the fluffy seeds out of the flower and trying to eat them.
And let's not forget those limp, sweaty bouquets that our children bring to us all summer, "Here, Mommy! I picked you flowers!"

12:23 PM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

daddelions are all over my yard too...won't mow the grass until they are done blooming.

12:56 PM  
Blogger kerrdelune said...

I love dandelions, but like you, not on my lawn, and they make me sneeze. Your photos, though, turn them into something wonderful.

1:30 PM  
Blogger annelynn said...

I'm not quite sure how I found my way here, but I am glad that I did. Lovely photos!

2:29 PM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Beautiful images...elevating an often overlooked and unloved common weed to a form of art. The dandelions are running their usual spring course around here...I no longer even try to stop them.

9:59 PM  
Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

Beautiful photos - especially like the one in seed - don't see them that way often in my yard - I pick the flowers for the bunnies to eat! Dandy candy! Yum.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

in otter space
dandelion wine no less? I think Dairy Queen is a good exchange

pam in tucson
how beautiful... if you find out how they do it - I would love to hear... I really like the idea of putting the seeds in lucite:=)

robinandrea
Most of the dandelions are down on the highway so we still fight them :=)

susan kailholz williams
a number of birds like the seeds (so glad for the birds!)
Dandelion bouquets are really special!

jimmy
I imagine your yard is lovely!

kerrdelune and c. delia
dandelions are very photogenic :=) They are lovely in their places.

annelynn
glad you stopped by!
love your photo of the killdeer!

laurahinnj
I wonder if there is a good way to get the flowers to you --- always want to be kind to bunnies!

11:34 PM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

Your photography are beautiful and fresh!! especially love the bird!

1:47 AM  
Blogger Pris said...

I love these photos. Here in Southeast Florida we don't have a dandelion problem, perhaps because of the heat. I find that I miss those darn persistent flowers:-)

7:33 AM  
Blogger Sigrid Jardin said...

This is lovely. Dandelions were one of the joys of my childhood, finding those fluffy heads and blowing them around the yard - it was magical. Your photographs are just extraordinary, and the poem is great too!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Tim Rice said...

There's nothing quite like the dandelion and childhood delight with them. And I love the greens made in white sauce.

6:17 PM  

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