One of the oddities of Blogger is that while I am free to edit a post after it's published you can't change your comments - which offers wonderful possibilities for practical jokes. If I were to write a post about butterflies and swap it later for one about elephants incongruities would creep in.
'I love the way they flit from flower to flower.'
'I like to see them chase each other round my garden.'
'Because more attention is being paid to parks nowadays, we are beginning to see them in our major cities. The other day I watched several fly past St Paul's while I waited for my bus.'
'I attract them with nettles and docks.
I wouldn't play that trick (despite the tantalising temptation) but . . . I do plan to add to this post and to change some of the pictures if I take ones I like better. Dandelions can look cheerful or garish. When put alongside the seed version of themselves they tend to the latter. So I may swap them. I've also been meaning to take close-ups of seeds but haven't had time. I'll add them in when I have them.
It's a bit of a long post, this. I was originally intending it to be divided into three - but because it's quite interesting to see something of the life cycle of a plant I'll go with that. This means I intend, sometime, to put in a picture at the beginning to show what its seedlings look like.
For people in places where there are dandelions - I hope it will be a celebration of an often unpopular flowers. For those unfamiliar with dandelions . . . it may be worth explaining why they are resisted where they are common; they spread easily and, once a plant is established, it's difficult to dig it out. Funny how the virtue of resilience can be counted a fault.
I love them.
|The petals wither. Each seed will have a white parachute. This begins to show.|
|Gradually the seed head opens - like an umbrella that reaches full circle.|
|The seeds pull away from the plant and are scattered by the wind.|
|You can see here where the seeds were held in place till ready to fly.|
(I've post-edited this picture to heighten the contrasts and sharpen the image.)
For those unfamiliar with UK traditions . . . when the fluffy seeds are ripe but still attached, you pick a stem and blow. The 'time' is however many puffs it takes for them all to fly away. This is why the seedheads of dandelions are called 'dandelion clocks'.