Dandelions a beloved arrival each springtime

Published 2:09pm Thursday, March 14, 2013

I have truly longed for spring this year. I don’t know if it’s because of the rain we’ve had lately or the hints of warmth we’ve enjoyed from time to time but I’m ready for spring.
While I’m still adjusting to springing forward this past weekend, I know it’s not long before we are all griping about the yellow dust that will soon cover our cars, our clothes, our homes, and everything else it’s allowed to land on. Yet, even through the runny nose and watery eyes, all of this is a small price to pay as we welcome spring.
One of the first signs of spring would have to be the dandelion. The dandelions are blooming around the office and I was explaining to a coworker the other day that as a child I would make dandelion necklaces and crowns. We would carefully split a small hole in each stem to thread another flower’s stem and continue a chain until we connected them all and tied a knot to secure our accessories provided by nature. The sheer thought of wearing a dandelion necklace today makes my sinuses burn but it’s a fond memory.
Dandelions are one of my favorite flowers. Some will attempt to correct me there and imply that the dandelion is nothing more than a nuisance in the form of a weed. The dandelion actually has many uses. It can provide entertainment. A puff of air to the top of the seedhead can provide a mesmerizing display as the seeds take flight one by one and each on it’s own individual journey. Dandelions can be consumed as a healthy snack or added to salads.
While I enjoy dandelions, I do not eat them. Some have allergic reactions when consuming them but the option is there if you’re inclined. There’s also dandelion wine and dandelion coffee. They also offer medicinal benefits and many cultures use it to remedy infections, assist with liver problems, and various other ailments. Apparently, they make a good addition to your garden by helping provide nutrients to shallow-rooting plants. Now, I understand that the dandelion can be a true enemy to crops but since I’m singing the praises of the dandelion today, I’ll save the negative stuff for another time.
So as spring makes its arrival and makes us pay for the wonderful weather by covering us with pollen, watering our eyes and itching our noses, take a deep breath of pollen-filled air, blow the seeds off a dandelion, string together a dandelion necklace and smile as you blow your noses and wipe your eyes because spring is finally here!

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