Bridgeville Beauties: Burdock

Growing up to five feet tall, Burdocks are another oddly beautiful plant. Most people pull the “weed” from their yards. I leave the plant just to watch the slow blooms occur. I love the purple flowers with the little spiny white ends.

Of course, the bees find the Burdocks very tasty. Honey bees and other insects love the pollen from the Burdock. I find any plant that attracts Honey Bees a valuable asset to my yard.

The next time you see a Burdock, do no think of the plant as a weed, instead consider how much the bees love and need the vegetation to survive. From my research, I read the Burdock is actually a medical herb. I might have to be brave and try the Burdock Root Tea.

Until next time…peace

Bridgeville Beauties: Butttonbush

I often hear, “it’s just a weed” or “it’s just a bug”. Despite their humble beginnings, I find everything in the natural world beautiful. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there a few critters that make me squeamish. Wild rats, did I mention rats? I know the irrational fear comes from reading too many history books about the plague.

My new nature series, Bridgeville Beauties highlights my finds in my area. The weeds, bugs, and critters of Michigan will be my area of focus.

Starting with the first one, the Buttonbush or Bush Willow is one of my favorite plants to photograph. Growing up to 12 feet, I generally find the white flowering bush near the creek line. The white flowers with spike-like yellow heads are oddly beautiful.

Attracting bees and hummingbirds, I find the Buttonbush to be a very beneficial “weed”.

A bee enjoying the pollen from the Buttonbush.

Until next time…peace

Dandelion: Weed or Flower?

when you look at a dandelion, what do you see? A pretty little yellow flower? Or a pesky weed? Obviously, I see a pretty little flower. I cannot help but see the beauty in the small little yellow flowers. When I finally see them growing out in my yard, I can safely say that the Michigan winter is official behind me. And Spring has finally been issued in.

When I was young, I would play outdoors for hours at a time. I would make crowns out of dandelions for myself, my dolls, and if my cat was being cooperative, he would get one too. Trust me, he did not always get one. Poor old “Sambo”, he was dressed up in numerous doll clothes over his life span.

Now that I am older (notice I did not say maturer), I love seeing the little yellow flower. In my grandfather’s belongings, I came across an old handwritten recipe for dandelion wine. My mother informed me that “under no circumstances do I try that old fool’s recipe” (Yes that is her father).  Of course the warning just make me want to try the recipe that much more. I did some research, dandelions have been used in all types of recipes including wine, jelly, and in salads.

Depending on the location, the dandelion’s flower head can vary in color from bright yellow to a deep orange. The dandelion flowering head is made up of hundreds of little smaller florets almost in a rosette formation.

When the dandelion finishes shining brightly, the flower head dries out showing the seeds for new life. The seeds are dispersed by a gently breeze.  Or when you blow on the flower to a make a wish.

So, next time you see a dandelion that has gone to seed; make a good magical wish.

Until next time…peace