Monday, May 4, 2020

Dandelion and Dock

Not much news today. More time in the garden, where I photographed this perfect dandelion. Most people think dandelions are weeds -- and they are -- but they're good for bees so we don't exterminate them too eagerly. Only when they grow in truly unacceptable places do we get rid of them.

In fact, we're pretty tolerant of weeds in general. The only weed I simply can't stand is dock. It's terrible and so tenacious. We have a lot of it coming up every year and getting rid of it is a nightmare, requiring a trowel to dig out the taproot. I haven't tried to take any out this spring but I see a lot of it so I suppose I should get to work.

I took Olga to the cemetery, as usual. On the way we passed this bike, the likes of which I'd never seen before. What a cool idea -- a dedicated bike for essential workers! Apparently you have to e-mail to get access to it, maybe with a code or something? (I have no idea.)

Here's the obligatory cemetery photo, complete with a branch of blooming hawthorn.

We saw the turaco again, way up in a tree, and in fact while I was watching it a guy came up to me and said, "Are you looking at the turaco?" I said yes, relieved that I'd finally met someone else aware of the existence of this crazy bird, and I was hoping he'd have some information about it -- but it turns out he'd read my blog post from last summer! So that was gratifying. He said his wife's been hearing it for years, so maybe it's been around a lot longer than I've realized. The mystery continues!


  1. I'd love a print of the dandelion! Is that possible!

  2. Fascinating about the turaco. Isn't it nice to discover someone who reads you without your knowing it!


    The beautiful wild and ancient dock plant is a true native of The British Isles - a proud survivor from the time of the dinosaurs. In fact, there are over two hundred varieties of rumex (dock). The plant has many traditional uses - culinary and medicinal and of course dock is famous for having the magical ability to sooth nettle stings.

    Persecution of the tenacious dock by wilful gardeners has become rife in recent years. Rather like Canadians clubbing baby seals, the dock has been subject to cruel assaults with tap roots being cruelly yanked from the earth and glyphosates being applied liberally to the victims' broad leaves.

    Join us in our campaign to save the dock. Visit:

  4. There’s nothing like the strength and resilience of a weed. I’ve not seen the bicycle before,, interesting! Such a great cemetery photo, and the dandelion is truly nature’s work of art isn’t it.

  5. I tend to trust people who like dandelions, who see beyond the weed to the flower and possibility of the eventual puffball. My mother told stories of grandparents who liked to gather and eat the leaves.

  6. Dandelions are a child's delight! Who hasn't puffed at one and watched the magic of the fluff flying into the air?
    So I had to google dock. I guess we have it here? Or something that looks like it.
    Lovely graveyard photo.
    And how nice to meet a reader! Very cool.

  7. Your Photos Are Worth A Thousand Words - As Always - I So Wish Olga Was Wearing Her GoPro Because She Has Quite The Classic Expression Going On There - Any More Movies In The Queue For The Week

    P.S. Hide An Olga Treat Somewhere In The House For Me

  8. Love that dandelion photo. It really is so cool that you ran into someone who has read your blog via the turaco connection.

  9. Are you maybe seeing more than one turaco?

  10. Very interesting that you got to meet one of your readers. I'll have to look up the dock. I' not familiar with that name. As for the dandelions, I love them. As kids, my brother and I used to enjoy the leaves cooked and served with butter and a bit of vinegar. The flowers are beautiful and great for the bees. I'm glad you wait a while before mowing them down. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

  11. I like your dandelion photo! I think they are pretty when go to seed like this. I'm glad you found someone else who knows about that bird....and to think he learned about it from you.

  12. Nice that you met a reader, love the fuzzy dandelion and Olga, of course.

  13. Wondering if you and the turaco fellow chatted at a 6-foot distance?

  14. The Hutterite Colony north of here make an outstanding dandelion wine that can be bartered for certain items. It is delicious and strong.
    Olga is always adorable.

  15. Olga looks really good in pictures with pink blossoms! Pink is clearly her colour (blanket, tummy, flowering things)

    I don't know what dock is; I'll have to look it up. That dandelion clock is lovely. (I learned that word a couple of years back from an Australian blogger, can you tell I don't get to use it much?)

  16. Elizabeth: I will e-mail you the picture!

    Mitchell: It surprised me! Although the blog is publicly available, the people I imagine reading it are always the ones who comment, you know? I kind of forget about everyone else!

    YP: You're fighting an uphill battle if you want support from gardeners for that campaign. Although birds apparently DO eat the seeds of dock, it's so prolific and persistent that everyone hates it. We don't use chemical sprays, though, so that's something.

    Laurie: I think that bicycle is a great idea. I hope it gets lots of use.

    Colette: Yeah, they're actually quite nice (and useful) as weeds go!

    Ms Moon: Yeah, I don't know if our dock is the same as Florida dock, but it's definitely similar.

    Padre: I'll have to make another GoPro movie with Olga. I haven't done one in a long time!

    Robin: It was quite surprising!

    Red: I don't think so. There have been one or two other turacos sighted in other parts of London in past years, but they've been different species. I'm virtually certain this is just one lone bird.

    Edna: Dock apparently has other names. I think it's a type of sorrel.

    Sharon: Well, I guess he must have noticed it himself in order to even find my blog post, but it's cool that he connected with it.

    E: Calling him a reader might be a stretch. I think he only read that one post. LOL

    Catalyst: Yes! And actually it was a short chat -- he was trying to manage his kids and I was trying to manage Olga.

    Penelope: I've eaten dandelions in a salad, but I've never had dandelion wine. If I ever have the opportunity I will try it! I have to look up Hutterite -- I don't know what that is.

    Jenny-O: When we first got her, Dave wanted to name her Rosie! Dandelion CLOCK?! Did auto-correct change that from something else?

  17. No, the dandelion head of seeds is called a "clock"!

  18. And you've been doing this such a long time (and so well), I have a feeling you'd be stunned by how many people know your blog.