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Eliza blows the seeds from a dandelion stalk (Photo by Matt Minde)

Eliza blows the seeds from a dandelion stalk (Photo by Matt Minde)

The audacity of dandelions

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They’re as tenacious and adaptable as they are sunny in disposition. Our tortoise loves them. You can make jelly from the heads and salad fixings from the leaves. And at the risk of infuriating that one neighbor with the perfect lawn, you can let out a mighty blow and scatter  hundreds of little paratrooper seeds into the winds.

The dandelion — from the French “dent de lion”; literally, “lion’s tooth” after its serrated leaves — is a bright harbinger of true spring, and flowers continuously through late fall. I recall picking the last few scraggly blooms in November for our tortoise, who would have to go a few months without them. 

These few photos document an evening’s walk, and an attempt to seek out the diverse places where these plants pop up their bright yellow shock. 

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The audacity of dandelions

by Matt Minde