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A Date With A Dandelion

Good Morning Watershed Explorers,

I came across a great quote this morning that I wanted to share with you, it reads, "Wilderness experiences trigger the sense that the world is enchanted, alive, whole and meaningful. By realizing our part in nature, we also come to feel more enchanted, alive, whole and meaningful." Dr. John Davis, the author of this quote has published many papers which discuss how a person's health and well-being can be greatly improved if he or she spends time in nature. As always, I encourage you to get out and enjoy nature today. You may want to even try to build a fort or teepee like the ones shown in the photo above. If my eight and four year-old can do it, so can you!

I have another challenge for you today, it involves dandelions. I know what you are thinking, Mrs. Morissette has definitely lost her mind, but the truth is that dandelions are actually super cool! They are also very readily accessible at this time of year.

The word dandelion comes from the French dent de lion which means lion's tooth. This is due to the fact that dandelion leaves have little jagged edges and can be very spiky. One article on the blogspot giveitforth suggests that dandelions may have been brought here with the pilgrims on the Mayflower. The seeds were scattered about to create a population for honeybees which were also introduced from Europe! Who knew? Did you know that you can also eat dandelion greens. The same article notes that they are very bitter in taste, but that they contain many key nutrients such as vitamins A, B, and C. Many people consider the dandelion to just be a weed, but as you may have learned, dandelions are much cooler than they are given credit for.

Here's your challenge: go check out some dandelions later today. Look for the dent de lion (the sharp pointy leaves), observe their flower (which at this time of year may have a pollinator on it), or try peeling a stem to see what is inside. Here are some questions to ponder as well, why do dandelions turn puffy and white once the yellow flower is gone? Do dandelions still bloom at night? Do dandelions that bloom in the shade look any different than those that bloom in the sun? If you would like, you could even write some of your observations down on a journal page and email them along so that other Watershed Explorers can hear about your discoveries.

Happy Exploring,

Mrs. M.

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