Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dandelions and those who Love Them

My recent blog about dandelions sparked a number of responses from readers
who reported their own happy experiences with the ubiquitous yellow edible.

One such comment came from a dear friend of mine,
who once lived south of the Shire, then moved far north of it,
and eventually settled at the edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest,
 west of the Shire. Her dandelion story takes place in the north,
and she has allowed me to share it with you here. She writes:

"My view of that weed changed when we lived in Caribou.
Our first year, after surviving our first winter there, Spring was reluctant to arrive.
But the snowpack eventually gave way, and seemingly overnight, the vast expanses of
white gave way to golden yellow. I have never seen anything like it,
and was simply stunned that giant dandelions, with blossoms as big as silver dollars,
lay as far as one could see. ...
We suddenly realized
that there were these large black splotches here and there
across the expanse of yellow that were moving!
Turned out to be BEARS, blissfully rolling in the dandelions,
biting mouthfuls, snorting, and obviously so very happy to be alive
and feasting on such an abundant treat.
Bigger black splotches turned out to be moose,
also gorging on the weed with obvious pleasure."

She recorded the scene with 8mm film,
but it's not been converted to the newer formats.
So I thought I would see if there was any video
of bears and moose lolling among dandelions.
And in fact, I found 3 videos chronicling various wildlife's dandelion-affection. 

The first is a goldfinch eating dried dandelion seeds:

And here's a baby bunny eating a yellow dandelion for lunch:

And finally, a black bear demonstrating its rite of spring, Caribou style:

Many other videos showed dandelions being eaten. 
Here is a "you tube-filmography" of animals enjoying this taste of spring:
ground hogs, 
guinea pigs,
and elephants.
But unfortunately, no moose.
We'll have to use our imaginations for that one.

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