Watching The Clock: Black & White Sunday


Talk about conflicting interests. When I’m at work on my allotment I continuously wage war on dandelions. They are shown no mercy, bar resorting to pesticides. And yes, I know they are very helpful plants – the roots plunging deep into the soil strata and releasing otherwise inaccessible nutrients into the topsoil.

On the other hand, on the way to the allotment, camera to hand, I have a lot of time for them. They are of course in the farmer’s field, and not on my plot, which helps to foster a little appreciation. I find their seed-head ‘clocks’ endlessly photogenic. Looked at closely, they have a mysterious and mesmerizing quality: the perfect design of their parachutes, each one programmed for relentlessly unavoidable procreation.

And so, even as I feel my spade-hand twitching towards a ruthless uprooting, I’m also thinking ‘live and let live’. There are other good reasons to love dandelions. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that these plants possess great therapeutic qualities. Herbalists have long used the roots for healing liver conditions, while the leaves and flowers act more on the kidneys (not for nothing is the dandelion’s country name piss-in-the-bed.) You can use the young leaves in salads, while the roasted roots make a passable coffee. Meanwhile, the dandelion in the photo is also auditioning for a special effects role in Star Trek.

Black & White Sunday

38 thoughts on “Watching The Clock: Black & White Sunday

  1. everything has its place and there’s a place for everything – dandelions belong elsewhere and judging by your imaginative shot they come from outer space

      1. That’s the idea. I wouldn’t mind dandelions in the yard if they didn’t take so much space and then spread their little children everywhere to do likewise. I wage a constant digging war as well. When I see them in the wild, I just think of them as lovely, yellow flowers.

  2. I too have a love-hate relationship with dandelions. I love they way they bloom so quickly as soon as the weather is warm and I don’t mind their making their homes all over what we laughingly call a lawn or even between the cracks in the sidewalk. But in the garden the push out all the other plants, or at least, they try. they are so hard to dislodge with those deep roots. I have mostly made peace with them … but I still wish they would not invade absolutely every place!

    And those fluffy seeds really are beautiful.

  3. The conflicting interest are quite understandable – and if that picture is in her portfolio at the audition, she will definitely get the role 🙂

  4. And piss in the bed? Bah! Never heard that – but did hear that some of the best liver formulas will add a bit of dandelion –
    And felt the twitch with you as you were beckoned to pluck –
    Live and let live –
    Felt that tension …
    Years ago when I Gardened more – I would actually pick weeds outside of places – just a couple here and there if they were standing tall in a landscape – now I don’t as much –
    Anyhow – the photo is mesmerizing

      1. Well that makes sense. And just looked on my “now foods” formula and they have dandelion – and Scute root – Barberry and turmeric then enzymes from artichoke – Beet and bladderwrack (isn’t that a nice name)
        I did not know the dandelion helped soil at all!
        I once read someone griping about overgrown dandelions and how the Enormous tap roots damaged the terrain unlike most other weeds – and I guess it is nice to learn more about this powerful gift of a weed.

  5. You can tell when spring arrives because there will be a bowl filled with a young dandelion salad on the table. I have many warm memories of harvesting the young plants, a butter knife in one hand and last year’s Easter basket in the other. I cannot speak if its therapeutic value but I bet it did Mom a world of good to have Dad take us kids out dandelion picking, giving her some much-needed respite. 🙂

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