Day 24 Sit Spot Challenge—Is It a Dandelion?








dandelions image by Per Jensen

dandelions image by Per Jensen

 

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© 2013 Shanna Lea

In places I’ve lived in the past, I used to pick weeds every evening in the yard.  I was against using poisons, and wanted a nice grassy yard, so I sat on the ground every night for a couple of hours and just picked everything that wasn’t grass.

After awhile, I started looking closely at the weeds I was pulling.  I didn’t know any of their names, they were just weeds, but I was intrigued by the details in the leaves and flowers and even the root systems.

I picked lots of dandelions.  Or, what I thought were dandelions.  I knew you could eat dandelions and had tried them once a few years before, but they were so bitter I never tried it again.

 

is this a dandelion??

is this a dandelion??

 

But as I picked the weeds I noticed that what I thought were dandelions each time actually looked different from each other.  Then I doubted if I even knew what a dandelion looked like.  So I found a field guide to plants, and sure enough, what I was picking were two different plants.

 

or is this a dandelion??

or is this a dandelion??

 

In your Nature Journals, draw from memory what you think a dandelion plant looks like.  Now, go to a field guide for edible plants and look up dandelion and its look alikes.

Details and awareness are important if you are foraging for edible wild plants to eat.  Sometimes the difference between an edible plant and one that is toxic, are just a few slight differences in leaves or flowers.  In the case of the dandelion look alike, if you ate it you might get a stomachache, but with other plants and their look alikes, it could end with deadly consequences.

Resource:

Kamana One Exploring Natural Mystery from the Wilderness Awareness School

A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants:  Eastern and Central North America

A Forager’s Harvest:  A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

False Dandelions for Lunch

Common Dandelion

 

***  answers:  middle image on page is hairy cat’s ear, 3rd image on page is dandelion

 

 



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