Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Yesterday, Snow; Today, a Tulip Flower…and Dandelions April 7, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Bugs,Cultivated Flowers,Plants,Seasons,Spring — saltthesandbox @ 4:31 pm
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This morning temperatures dipped below freezing, yet I still found my first Tulip flower of spring. It was in the Oak Park Arts District, near the Eastgate Cafe:

The lone, yellow Tulip flower was not the classic shape.

The lone Tulip flower was so yellow it almost hurt my eyes.

Because the flower petals were splayed open, I could look inside.

Because the flower petals were splayed open, I could look inside.

I counted six parts that make the sticky Tulip pollen, plus a three-horned female part to receive pollen.

I counted six parts that make sticky Tulip pollen, plus a three-horned female part.

If you want to learn what botanists call these reproductive structures, go here or here.

Further west on Harrison Street, there were more yellow blossoms:

Yes, Dandelions are back, too -- another sure sign of spring.

Yes, Dandelions are back -- another sure sign of spring. The dark dots on the flowers are tiny pollen-carrying bees.

I know some folks don’t like them, but Dandelions are fine with me.

Note added April 23, 2009: Part of our Earth Day celebration at Wonder Works was digging for bugs in their organic garden. In addition to enjoying the bugs, our two- and three-year-old visitors appreciated the Dandelion flowers that dotted the garden. It was great that they could pick them — most kids don’t get to pick flowers these days.

Also, today I found a family that’s on a crusade to Save the Dandelions, rather than destroy them. I’m with them on that!

 

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