Fields of Dandelions
If you are like me, you’ll enjoy this time of year, that is, if the air being full of pollen doesn’t bother you. Trees that just a little over a month ago were gray and lifeless have filled their branches with new green leaves. Yellow Birds sing in the Dogwoods as Red Buds bloom on the hills around our community. In the breeze, the smell of a lawn that has been freshly cut drifts on gentle air currents.
At this of year, I enjoy watching my fields fill with the grasses of summer. In just a few weeks those grasses will be waving in summer’s early breeze waiting for the bailing machine. Those gentle movements of the grasses remind me of the waves on distant oceans.
Recently on one of those sunny days, I stepped out and looked towards the fields in front of our home. I noticed right off the meadow was awash in a bright yellow color in the morning sun. Summer is just a few weeks off, but spring flowers still remind us of the earth renewing its self for another season of growth. Fields full of blooming dandelions bright and golden welcome summer.
For a few days, those bright yellow flowers that are maligned and cursed by many but do no harm; they only bring Mother Nature’s beauty to the world. Nature gives freely their beauty to those who will simply take the time to appreciate all that the lowly flower has to offer. As I walked among the flowers, bees are making frequent visits to the yellow blossoms. The hairs on their legs are covered with specks of yellow pollen. I enjoy watching the bees go about their business. It is fascinating how they visit each flower and gather its nectar. As for me, I enjoy watching them and I know later this summer I may want to borrow some honey they worked so hard to create.
The bounty of yellow flowers seems to last only a few days in the bright sunlight. As quickly as they appeared they fade and the fields are once again left green in color. That is for a day or two. As quickly as the flower disappeared they are replaced with white balls of seeds now swaying in the breeze. For a few days no matter how much the breeze seems to blow the fluffy balls hold fast to their seed. Then suddenly Mother Nature whispers to them, go, fly away and create next year’s flowers. I watched as the wind carried the uncountable seeds through the air. Higher and higher they rose and drifted towards my neighbors lawns. My enjoyment of spring dandelions delegates my neighbors to digging dandelions from their yards all summer.
After just a day or two the fields will begin to show hints of deep blue. From the grasses appear Johnny Jump Ups. They have been hiding near the grass line. In just a few weeks, the fields that once held the yellow of the daneldlion and the blue of violets have changed into a green ocean of grasses waving in the coming summer sunshine. I know when the grasses are knee high and beginning to top out in ripe seeds summer has arrived.
Flowers area simple thing, they bring beauty and then fade without whispering a sound. They do not know or understand they are brightly colored to attract insects. It is only because the visit from a butterfly or bee makes sure the meadows next year will be filled with color once again. The flowers ask nothing in return from us, they do understand they bring color and beauty to our world.
Mother Nature must taken great pride in the fact she gives us different flowers each of the warmer months. Each spring as the snows disappear wild Easter flowers, called Trilliums begin to appear. As the sun rises higher in the sky, steep hills sides are adored with Dutchmen’s Britches, Indian Paint Brushes and Trout Lilies. They have hidden all winter beneath last fall’s leaves. As we travel the road ways we look towards the sunny side of the hills as Red Bud and Dogwoods bloom.
Days get longer and the air becomes warmer, fields of white daisies begin to appear. They grow quickly to show their faces above the tops of maturing summer grasses. Lawns and fields also become home to a covering of ground clover and hum with visiting bees. Along road ways delicate blue flowers of Chicory emerge to create color all summer long.
By the time August comes along, Queen Annes Lace sway in the fields during late summers dog days. Milk weed plants are blooming and being visited by bright orange Monarch Butterflies. Standing tall along creeks and streams, purple colored field aster welcome visiting finches that are looking for insects. Floating on the breeze yellow and black swallow tail butterflies dance from flower to flower looking for bits of nectar.
As September comes along, yellow colors reappear or should I say golden colors. When the Golden Rod returns it brings allergies back to the fading season. It is a sign that fall cannot be far behind. The golden flowers are full of bees and butterflies looking for the last meal of the season. They somehow know before long the first touch of frost will end another year of Mother Nature’s flowers and beauty.
Perhaps now, you will appreciate the return of the dandelion. For myself there is one other reason I look forward to the dandelions return. I go into the fields and look for the biggest dandelion seed ball I can find. I carefully pick just the right one, close my eyes and make a wish. They say if you tell your wish it may not come true. But, among friends I think it is okay to tell what I wish for. With a quick exhale of air, I watch as hundreds of seeds are released and float away on the wind. My wish, with each seed that floats free, a solder will return home, safe to their family. Now, if each one of you reading my story would do the same thing, perhaps the men and women who are serving our country may soon return safe as we make a wish Through the Lens.