Once, when I was a little girl, I got in trouble for blowing dandelion seed heads in my backyard. My father was furious that I was encouraging those hideous weeds to spread. I didn’t question him about it or point out that the seed heads were going to blow away with or without my help. I just assumed hating dandelions was one of those ridiculous adult things that made no sense like buying Lima beans rather than ice cream or watching the evening news as opposed to Gilligan’s Island.

Yesterday, Bruce and I got into a tiff over dandelions. I was picking some to make a batch of wine and he was concerned I was not leaving enough for his bees. Now bear in mind, if you look out my kitchen window you will see a 5 acre field (+ or -) absooutly covered with dandelions. We have plenty of dandelions. I picked for a lot longer than I needed to because it was so darn pleasant sitting in the sun, watching our bees (or maybe Tom’s bees) flit from flower to flower and truly appreciating the wonder that is a dandelion.

The greens are on of the first edibles to pop up in the spring. They taste wonderful until they don’t, then they produce these beautiful seed heads that feed the bees, make wine or just sit looking pretty. I know you can use the root but I never have. Anyone out there who does? Could you let me know how and why? Altogether, this is a thoroughly terrific plant and I encourage my children to blow the seeds all they like. I buy ice cream rather than Lima beans too and I would probably chose a Gilligan’s Island rerun over the news if I had the chance. I suppose I am still waiting to grow up.

We had a bee swarm yesterday. This is another of nature’s miracles. The bees are so docile when swarming, they can be handled without protection. We are now up to 6 hives in the bear enclosure. Bruce was at his men’s group last night where the guys were entertained by a mama bear and her two cubs. I can not believe how lucky we are. We never have bears here. I think we are protected by the river and the road and easy pickings on our perimeter.

We had a light frost last night. I have not looked at my bean seedlings yet but I am not optomistic. We really can’t be sure of final frost date until June first, no matter what the seed catalogs try to tell us. Every part of a yard or homestead is a microclimate. We are close to the river and get frost well before our neighbors less tha 1/4 mile away and 2 weeks later in the season. What is hurting plants right now is the wind. it’s tough on seedlings and the new trees. At least we have had rain. I was mighty sick of hauling water to the nut orchard every day. I have alot of bean seeds and will replant today if I have to. It is a beautiful day and I can think of many worse ways to spend it.