by Sandy Swegel
I may never pull another dandelion again. Well, at least not in my yard. But it was an utter joy to learn something new about dandelions yesterday while enjoying my morning coffee and looking out the window. We’ve had a very late Spring with heavy snows and everyone is worried about the bees having enough food. Dandelions started blooming seriously last week and I sat drinking coffee and watching at least forty bees feed on the patch of dandelions in pasture grass outside my window. And then came the delight. A tiny house wren…one of those little birds that live by the hundreds in tree or thickets…flew down and delicately started pulling on the puffball of a dandelion seedhead. With great industry, the bird pulled off two or three of the seeds at a time (and dandelion seeds are tiny) and teased them from the hairy chaff. He stayed pulling off the seed and threshing them for several minutes. Naturally by the time I got the camera he was back in the tree chirping away.
There’s so much beauty and bounty around us every moment. All these years I’ve been gardening and I never noticed how much little birds depended on finding weed seeds.