Two suburbanite boomers throw caution to the wind, postpone retirement, and move to a farm in Indiana. There they intend to live happily ever after.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Nature Notes: Splendor in the Grass
If I told you this was a rare variety of chrysanthemum you'd probably want one.
However, this lovely blossom is a lowly dandelion, arch nemesis of control freaks, gardeners, and lovers of lawn. Which is to say, my husband.
We have thousands of the little gold flowers in the spring. They pop up literally overnight or, as they did this year, in the course of a single day. Not there in the morning, running riot in the afternoon. It's impressive. (And I secretly enjoy them on that first day, before they turn ugly.)
We don't want to spread weed killer all over the place, and so have relied on relentless mowing to control them before they set seed. It worked well - until now.
The crafty little bastards have learned to keep their heads down.
The Hubby attacked them on first sight, firing up the tractor and wading full-throttle into the swarm. Other than a full hour of his weekend that he'll never get back, there were no casualties. You could almost hear the weeds giving him the raspberry.
I recall a science class in high school where this phenomenon was presented as an example of small-scale evolution. Tall-stemmed dandelions get mowed down and don't get a chance to reproduce. Short-stemmed dandelions are spared the blade. Within a few seasons, only short-stemmed dandelions remain, being the best adapted for their environment. Survival of the fittest.
Unfortunately, this probably means an escalation to chemical warfare. Darwinism sucks.