Dandelion Fog

 

rising in silence
floating feather light toward dawn
dandelion fog

 

Comments always are welcome.
The flower shown here, Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus, is generally known as Texas dandelion, although it sometimes goes by the names false dandelion, or small-flower desert chicory.
 

55 thoughts on “Dandelion Fog

    1. You certainly have more reason to be eager for spring than we do, here on the Texas coast. It has been a remarkably foggy, cloudy, and drizzly few weeks, though, so we’re probably as eager for sunshine as you are for a little color.

  1. I haven’t seen a dandelion since I left Long Island. Here we get tiny white flowers that make it look like snow flurries occurred during the night.

    1. I think that this might be your white flower. I found dozens of sites that refer to it as Florida snow, and many of those sites were asking the same question that gets asked about dandelions: is it a pest, to be eradicated, or a pleasure to be enjoyed? It certainly is a pretty thing.

  2. Not very well concentrating – as it’s usual with me – I first read “Dandelion Frog”, and was wondering what kind of frog that might be.
    Excellent picture, Linda, of the “frog”.

    1. That’s funny, Pit. Maybe we could revise Carl Sandburg’s famous poem to say, “The frog came in on little flower feet…” Thanks for the good words about the photo. I like seeing these flowers against blue skies or green grass, but I really liked this more unusual view.

    1. They’re like the common dandelion in that regard; they’re willing to pop up anywhere and everywhere. There’s been almost obsessive mowing going on around here, but I’m hoping that these will come back to fill the vacant lot across from me. It’s interesting to watch the changes there. One year, it was all pink evening primrose; the next it was these dandelions and Verbena rigida. They’re all pretty.

    1. I remembered that you like dandelions. They’re early, dependable, and pretty — just as a spring flower should be. It’s still foggy here this morning because of our warm temperatures. The sea fog develops when that warm air moves over the colder water. But the wind is coming up, starting to stir the fog. Pretty soon, I’ll have to stir, too.

  3. Mmm, I guess I need to drive south. LOL, we’re actually going north to Fort Worth this weekend so I will be seeing even less spring but I hear the the trout lilies are up so I’m going to scout those out in a known location.

    Maybe this will be our last big cold front and we’ll get onto really warming up?

    1. It’s supposed to be ‘cold’ here on Thursday, with 30-35 mph winds, so I’ve scheduled a number of chores for that day, like getting the car serviced. It’s good timing, perhaps. Your mention of trout lilies suggests it might be time for a first trip over to east Texas this weekend. I know they exist over there — I’ve seen the photos. Even if I don’t find them, there ought to be something springing up!

  4. “Floating feather light toward dawn” is genius!

    As a writer of poetry, I’ve always tried to capture the unequaled description of fog by Carl Sandburg, “The fog comes on little cat feet…”

    Your dandelion fog description has just come mighty close!!

    Great image. Don’t you love to get out with a camera just as soon as you find a foggy morning? Nothing better for drawing attention to your subject matter. Beautifully presented.

    1. I had fun playing with that first line. Is it a feather, lightly floating toward dawn, or feathery light, becoming the dawn? Or feather-light fog, floating? Or.. or…

      Sandburg’s fog is wonderful. I’ve always enjoyed hearing him recite it himself.

      I do love fog. Sea fog’s the best, with early morning ground fog running a close second. We’ve been cursed with a good bit of wet-blanket fog recently, but it was the coming and going of sea fog bands that allowed me to get this photo.

    1. I had to laugh when I saw the photos on the computer. I was so intent on getting those ray tips sharp I completely missed the out-of-focus second dandelion. I thought it really helped to make the image.
      It’s been interesting to see how patchy these are right now. They’re still widely scattered, but where they’ve shown up, there usually are several of them.

    1. Thanks, Rob! “Elegant dandelion” probably would seem like an oxymoron to a lot of people, but I think these native ones are particularly elegant. They’re tall, slender, and fun, too — they could be the Farrah Fawcett of flowers.

  5. While the main subject is lovely, it’s the other flower doing a “photo bomb” that catches my eye. Of course, I know it was a clever ploy of yours to show the fog, but I can’t help a little fancy.
    Frenetic mowing =destroyers of nature’s delights. Every time I visit a cemetery I recall that amazing wildflower cemetery you showed us, and the contrast is shuddering….

    1. I’ll confess that I’m sometimes disappointed when I show up at a favorite place and discover that a little “tending” has gone on. It happened to me twice last weekend. My favorite hay meadow had been mowed, and miles of the refuge had been burned. But burning and mowing, along with grazing, are ways of maintaining the health of these gorgeous areas.

      The mowing I hate takes place in town, where regulations demand that vacant lots, particularly, have to meet certain standards. Even there, it makes some sense. Let property just “go,” and it won’t be long before someone dumps a bag of trash, or an old set of tires, or whatever. The highway departments, the cemetery keepers, and private land owners are becoming more and more aware of the need to schedule mowing after the plants have set seed, and that’s all to the good.

    2. Oh — speaking of that second, softer flower: I didn’t know it was there until I looked at the photos. I was so intent on trying to get the bloom on the primary flower crisp, I just missed it.

  6. You’ve changed your sign-in. I have to type stuff now to leave a comment. Grumble.

    Dandelion clocks are magical. A friend had a horse that would huff them to watch them fly.

    1. No, I haven’t changed anything. That’s a WordPress glitch that shows up from time to time. When it happens to me, I find that if I refresh the page immediately, my saved name, URL, and such magically appear. I love the thought of a horse playing with dandelions! One of my friends had a cat that would go out in the yard and bat at the dandelions for the same reason — to see the fluff fly away.

    2. ps: sometimes logging out of and back into WP helps, too. If neither of those tricks helps, get in touch with one of those vaunted ‘happiness engineers,’ and they’ll probably be able to help.

  7. Rising like a torch amid the fog
    A flower stirring courage for the rest to go ahead and all rise.
    (They say we’re past frost…but there’s still rodeo trail ride and of course the storm that always appears right at Easter? We’ll see…if the fog ever thins..supposedly a neutral El Nino/La Nina this year…)
    Love this flower’s soft announcement of Spring
    (PS as you say, WP is squirrel with the sign in to leave a comment again…among other things)

    1. Your imagery of the dandelion as a torch-bearing encourager reminded me of Vachel Lindsay’s fun dandelion poem:

      O dandelion, rich and haughty,
      King of village flowers!
      Each day is coronation time,
      You have no humble hours.
      I like to see you bring a troop
      To beat the blue-grass spears,
      To scorn the lawn-mower that would be
      Like fate’s triumphant shears,
      Your yellow heads are cut away,
      It seems your reign is o’er.
      By noon you raise a sea of stars
      More golden than before.

      So there!

      I don’t known about La Niña, but there’s little question we have El Niño-like conditions at this point. Most of the gang down on the docks are heartily sick of it. I’m hoping that the next front scours things out; I’d be happy to take the cold if it meant getting rid of this interminable glop.

    1. Sometimes being pretty is just what’s needed. I was glad to find this bit of beauty, especially since the earliest flowers can be as raggedy as the latest, thanks to nipping cold, voracious insects, and such.

    1. Thanks so much, Derrick. I was pleased to be able to avoid the fire ants while getting down to this one’s level, and I was equally pleased that the surrounding grass burs still were soft. Now, if I could learn to stop the wind, it would all be good!

  8. Lovely and a different species than those that inhabit our lawn…Mary Beth would say “plague”. They are among the earliest food for the over-wintering bees and I try to stop her from digging them up. About our only “marital discord”.

    I like your control of the focus creating that foggy effect.

    1. It’s really interesting to see how many insects are out and about in early spring, making a meal of even the tiniest flowers. I found some little white “somethings” last weekend: flowers no more than 1/16th of an inch across. They were covered with flying insects equally small: certainly half the size of a hoverfly. No photos that time; I wasn’t feeling patient enough. I was feeling patient enough to capture that fog, though.

  9. The dandelion is lovely and a nice flower. I make sure to leave them and mow around because that is often the only bloom that is available as a nectar source for insects that rely on pollen as their food. I see dandys bloom in winter and saw a few just last week. The weather has been up and down and sideways in central Texas. It was lovely last Friday and Saturday and then Tuesday and today (Wednesday) it is a typical windier day. It is windy, cold, and raining at intervals. Truly nasty weather and definitely not conducive to being outdoors unless one is a duck.

    1. You’re right about the importance of dandelions as an early source of pollen and nectar. I love that you mow around them. I grew up in a neighborhood where dandelions seemed to be considered personal insults, and I always hated seeing them mowed/poisoned/dug.

      From what they say, the weather you’re experiencing right now will be here tonight and tomorrow. We’re gray and damp today, but relatively warm — 50s and 60s. I’d love to have two warm and sunny days in a row. Heck, at this point, I’d take one warm and sunny day.

  10. This is almost too pretty to be a dandelion, Linda. Love how you’ve captured the mistiness of the fog surrounding it — not an easy thing to photograph. You’re getting really GOOD, you know! And we’re the beneficiaries of your talented eye!

    1. It’s interesting to see the differences between this native and the more familiar European dandelion. Color’s one. These are a little more pale, and sometimes almost lemon-colored. They’re taller, too, and I think that makes them seem more graceful.

      It was an interesting morning, with sunshine and fog alternating. This flower opens in the morning sunlight and closes by noon, so there had been enough light for them to open. If they’d been really socked in with fog, I don’t think they would have opened.

    1. A whole field of them can be stunning. They’re fun to watch, because they open in the morning and close by noon or early afternoon. It took me a while to figure out why they were “disappearing” in my neighborhood, when no mowing seemed to be taking place. I finally figured it out — I’d leave for work with them open, but when I’d come home for lunch, they’d be closed and nearly invisible. Banker’s hours!

    1. I was pleased with the serendipitous way the second flower added to the image. I’d like to say I carefully planned that, but I didn’t — at least I recognized it as a positive! It was a peaceful morning, and I wanted to try and capture a bit of that. I’m glad you felt it.

  11. Did you know that the name Dandelion comes from the French “dents du lion” – lion’s teeth. It’s those tiny teeth at the end of each petal, that your picture shows so well.

    1. I know that about the name now, but I didn’t know it until I began to be interested in native plants and the etymology of names. These lion’s teeth don’t look particularly threatening, but anyone who’s watched Little Shop of Horrors probably could put their imagination to work!

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