Day 41: Dandelion Walk!

Yesterday was Day 41 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge.

I was a happy camper on my walk yesterday because dandelions were in various stages of bloom everywhere I went. I love dandelions. There is just something about them that makes me smile!

Dandelion2I know many folks consider dandelions to be a pesky weed, but there is great beauty and utility in “daisy-lions” as my oldest son used to call them when he was a tot. Did you know that dandelions get their name from the big, jagged edges or “teeth” in their leaves? In old French, “dent-de-lion” means lion’s tooth.

There are many legends and lore about dandelions. One has it that the tallest dandelion a child can find will be equivalent to the number of inches that child will grow in the coming year. If you go for a walk with your child, ask him or her to find the tallest dandelion in a field or garden. Pick it and measure it. Write down the measurement along with the date, and post it on the wall or refrigerator. As you track your child’s growth over the next year compare the number of inches to the length of the dandelion. Is the legend true?

The dandelion is known as the “Shepherd’s Clock.” That’s because its flowers always open about 5 A.M. and shut at about 8 P.M. Why not take a walk at those times and see for yourself if it’s true?

You can read a delightful “Legend of the Dandelion” online.  dandelion tuft

When I was little, my mom told me that the garden fairies traveled on dandelion tufts blown by the wind. That idea still makes me smile.

Did you know that every part of the dandelion is edible?  My grandmother used to make dandelion wine.

Papa enjoyed this dandelion salad.

You may enjoy this recipe for dandelion fritters.

And here’s a final dandelion thought…

“To some the dandelion is a weed; but not to me, unless it takes more than its share of space, for I always miss these little earth stars when they are absent. They intensify the sunshine shimmering on the lawn, making one smile involuntarily when seeing them. Moreover, they awaken pleasant memories, for a childhood in which dandelions had no part is a defective experience.” ~ Excerpted from “The Home Acre,” by E. P. Roe

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