All hail the glorious (and unbeatable) dandelion!

All hail the glorious (and unbeatable) dandelion! By Bob Karolevitz I've finally resigned myself. Dandelions are beautiful spring flowers. Colorful, erupting in lawns and byways, they bring a brilliant yellow glow to an otherwise drab greensward.

In my new way of thinking, they are no longer a weed. They are an honest-to-goodness part of a South Dakota springtime. Why should we put them down as a botanical pariah?

Dandelions brighten the lawn, give zest to roadways and intended meadows. They are the harbingers of a new season, a welcoming herald of nature's reawakening.

I say all this, of course, because I've given up. Dandelions have won the war of landscaping perfection.

Let us rejoice and be glad. The sparkling flowers which dot our lawns are more ubiquitous than pigeons and should be glorified and not held in contempt.

The blow-flowers � the puffballs of seed � should be appreciated and not vilified.

Why isn't the dandelion the state flower? I've hardly ever seen a pasque in bloom. We've got to search them out, on unplowed prairie, but dandelions are everywhere, to be seen and enjoyed if we'd just get over our prejudice against them.

We should all be making dandelion wine or salads from the tender greens which they say are so tasty. The pasque just lies there, a pale purple, and then it's gone. No wine, no salads. No nothing but official recognition.

I know I'm fighting a losing cause. Dandelions by reputation are like warts and long underwear. Like Rodney Dangerfield they get no respect.

I suppose if there were some kind of Save the Dandelion campaign (STD), there would be a ground-swell of support for the beleaguered bud which is now anathemas to lawns-

keepers. If they were declared and endangered species, we'd pour millions of federal dollars into the battle to preserve them.

But as far as I'm concerned, the fight is over. My dandelions are now lovable flowers. The money I'll be saving by not buying weed-killers will supplement my monthly Social Security check. In effect, I've reverting to my second childhood.

For generations tiny tots have plucked the yellow blooms to present wilting bouquets to mothers who have faked delight. No one has ever told children: "No, no, you mustn't touch the dandelions." So if they're good enough for little kids, they're good enough for me.

From now on I'll be admitting the blanket of yellow in our yard as God's gift to little children and me, not the aggravating nuisance it is to brainwashed adults who want nothing but a sea of green.

I admit that I've not yet assumed a similar attitude toward the moles which infest my beloved dandelion patch. I suppose my yardwork would be less stressful if I accepted the pestiferous borrowers in a positive way like I now do the flowers which were once so hateful.

When it comes right down to it, it's all a matter of pre-conditioning. We grow up looking down our noses at the lowly dandelion. No wonder it ranks right up there with musk thistles and leafy spurge as a plant to be eradicated.

Now I'm ready to change all that. No longer will the dandelion be a detestable villain but a delightful blossom. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: "A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." Well, at long last, I've discovered the virtues of the dandelion!

As a matter of fact, I think I'll go pick Phyllis a bright yellow bouquet right now. If she doesn't agree with my thesis, I think she'll at least fake it.

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