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In early Spring during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, my husband and I, wanting to escape the confines of our quarantine, took a drive up to the eastern part of the Foothills Parkway. Tons of dandelions were growing all around in the low lying grasses. I spotted most of the five facets of the dandelion in one small area and that is what I painted. Very common but not be overlooked, it's metamorphosis is fascinating. Emerging as two false leaves, the plant sends down a very long taproot that can be up to 3 feet or more! It then becomes that bright yellow flower we are so familiar with. The petals fan out into full bloom before the plant closes to ripen the seeds on their fluffy white stems, transforming into the characteristic white "puffball". The dandelion has been around for thousands of years and has other names: Irish Daisy, Bitterwort, and Priest's Crown. The flowers, leaves, and roots have been used for food, medicine, and even dye.
Of course I had to do the customary thing that I grew up with. Close my eyes, make a wish, and blow the seeds into the air. To quote and paraphrase a few sources: "There are many folklore traditions surrounding dandelions: The seeds will carry your thoughts and dreams to loved ones when you blow them into the air; if you can blow all the seeds off a dandelion with a single breath, then the person you love will love you back; the number of breaths it takes you to blow all the seeds off a dandelion equals the hour of the day. Dandelions have also been called a "shepherd's clock," since their flowers open shortly after first light and close again at dusk. Amateur meteorologists might use dandelions as an informal barometer to predict the weather. When dandelions have seeded, they will extend into a full ball in good weather. If rain is on the way, however, they will fold like an umbrella and remain tightly closed."
June 12th, 2020
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