Answer to the Friday Whatsit for March 25, 2011
A late posting, but since EVERYBODY that guessed got it right I guess it doesn’t really matter. Yes, this is a very highly magnified bit of common dandelion (Taraxacum sp.) fluff, the parachute that carries the dandelion seed away from its parent plant to flower in someone else’s lawn.
Most dandelions in our yard don’t get to the seed head stage. My husband has spent years popping them out of the lawn with a pronged dandelion popper. Others prefer to spray weed killer on the little buggers, but we find that also kills the lawn (see this article on how Roundup works for why).
Final fun fact of the day: “dandelion” comes from the French dent-de-lion or lion’s tooth. How the French decided the little yellow pests looked like lion’s teeth I don’t know.
And. . . if you have five minutes to waste, check out this YouTube video called, appropriately, Dandelion. It features fractals and some atmospheric music. With fractals being the subject for another post!