The Dandy Dandelion

Nicole Rogers

The Dandy Dandelion

3 mins
May 18, 2021

Nature Calendar

I recently discovered, my small vista that I spoke of last week, was even smaller than I thought, I was not soaking in the positive rays from the Popple River, it was actually basking at the banks of Brick Creek. Well, the Popple River is not far away from it, ha-ha! 

I discovered this fact, while I was viewing photographs that Jim Scheuer had taken of that very spot. The Owen Library Board is putting together an 18-month calendar which will feature the amazing wildlife photography of Jim Scheuer. Each month will have a beautiful photograph of the nature that abounds in Owen-Withee shot through Jim’s expert lens. This calendar will be a real gem and will be sponsored by local businesses and individuals. The calendar will be for sale by Owen Jr. Fair time. The Owen Library Board will be sending out letters to local businesses explaining the project and offering opportunities to be part of the calendar. I will be setting up and printing the calendar, I can’t wait to do my part! So, anyway, that is where I was politely schooled on Brick Creek. 

The Dandy Dandelion

The dandelions are sure roaring loudly across my lawn. Some people just can’t stand the sight of the yellow-headed weeds that take over green spaces all over town. Me, I am ok with them. The lawn mower stops their rampage for a day or so after mowing. And, when the yellow turns to fluffy white, the grand girls love to pick them and blow those tiny seeds into the wind. How could I deny them that joy? Or the joy I feel watching them? 

At the last council meeting, someone had asked that the city delay the lawn mowing ordinance until the first week in June to preserve the dandelions. Well, that certainly got my attention, so I began to research the reason why this would be important. As it turns out, dandelions are the pollinator’s best friend. Bees, pollen beetles, butterflies and moths feast on the taraxacum officinale, A.K.A dente de lion (French for Lion’s Tooth), A.K.A dandelion. It was great to hear someone voice concern for our pollinators which keep our wildlife abundant. 

So, we may be seeing more roaring lawns which brings me whimsical memories. My sister and I along with the neighbor kids used to make dandelion necklaces. We would pull off the heads and connect the stems into loops. We would also take a dandelion and divide the stem into strips and put it in water. The stems would curl up beneath the buttery blossom create a cheery floating floral arrangement. Last weekend, my dad reminded me of another childhood dandy. We would hold a dandelion under our chins and if it reflected yellow that meant we liked butter. Ha! How silly! 

The childhood tradition continued last Sunday, as great grandpa held a fuzzy yellow dandelion under his great-granddaughters chin and asked that immortal question – do you like butter? She gave him a very confused look as if saying “what on earth does that have to do with butter?” Strange as great grandpa may have seemed that warm Sunday afternoon, I bet she will remember it and someday pass it on. 

On the healthy side of things, herbalist have used dandelions to treat skin conditions, asthma, low blood pressure, poor circulation, ulcers, constipation, colds and hot flashes. The young leaves are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. On the tipsy side of things, the flowers can be made out into wine. Maybe if people know how valuable dandelions are, this evasion weed will look less demonic. The dandelion has some valuable traits, it helps pollinators continue the circle of life, brings joy and tradition to young and old, is a healthy cure many ailments, and can be tippled at the end of a hectic day. Since dandelions are hopefully here to stay and brighten many of the summer landscapes why not see the sunny side of this sunny weed. Do you like butter?

This article was orginally reported by
Nicole Rogers

Nicole Rogers, lives in Owen, WI, and is the co-editor for the Sentinel & Rural News.