A strange thing happened a few days ago. I was riding my lawn mower in my precise and efficient cutting pattern and started looking at the wildflowers that were growing right in front of my blades. A few seconds later they were history, all but a memory. It occurred to me that before I mow all the plants down I should stop and photograph what was there. I found about 4 species to add to my wildflower photograph list so this was definitely meant to be.
I did get distracted by the dandelions that are taking over my yard however as they are large, bright and well, very plentiful! I found that the closer I got to these pretty flowers and seed heads the more interesting dandelions look. In front of my 150mm macro lens they looked even better. This isn’t the first time I’ve photographed dandelions but was the longest I’ve ever spent at “dandelion level”.
Back on my lawn mower I was wondering why we hate dandelions so much. Is it that they mess up out perfectly green lawns? Are they an unwanted weed?
I have a friend that makes wine out of the flowers, something quite popular in Europe. In France they add the leaves to salads and are actually responsible for giving the dandelion its name; dent de lion, teeth of the lion after the jagged edge of the leaves. The Latin name Taraxacum officinalis translates into disorder remedy. For centuries in Europe the dandelion was considered a remedy for disorders of the body. In traditional Chinese medicine the root and leaf of the dandelion are used to remove toxins from the body.
Do you get rid of your dandelions? Have you ever tried using them for their nutritional value or for health purposes? I have a new respect for them now although I’m not going to detour around them quite yet!