But a closer look revealed a spark of color. This was my first sighting for the year of my favorite botanical sight: the yellow petals of a dandelion.
One of the countless reasons I love dandelions is that they can make themselves at home anywhere. Anywhere on Earth, it seems. They grow on every continent except Antarctica (and I’m sure they’ll be blooming there before long.) They grow on mountaintops, in sand dunes, along riverbanks, and seem to vie with each other to choose the least hospitable environments: driveway gravel, sidewalk cracks, blacktop, highway roadsides.
It’s not that dandelions prefer poor soil. If you plant a dandelion seed in rich black compost, and then weed out the competing plants and throw in some fertilizer, you’d better stand back. A dandelion grows with amazing rapidity, and can sprout a waist-high blossom with a long neck like a giraffe, and a three-inch flower head on a thick stalk. No,
dandelions don’t mind at all when life is a bed of roses. But when life hands
the dandelion a challenge, the dandelion rolls up its sleeves (metaphorically
speaking) and gives it a try.
Here’s an intrepid dandelion poking up from under the sidewalk on another streetcorner.