I’m on a bit of a macro roll the past few days. Springtime with everything budding and blooming always increases my desire to “get in close” to nature.

My feature photo is a macro shot of a small dandelion flower. The blossom wasn’t any bigger than a nickel and maybe even a bit smaller. I almost had to stand on my head to get this angle, because the flower was so close to the ground.

The many little lobes that are split in two and curling at the ends are stigma, and eventually they’ll have pollen to attract bees and other insects.

Although it’s a noxious weed and a nuisance to many gardeners and lawn enthusiasts, the lowly dandelion serves many useful purposes. In addition to providing nectar for bees, many people make wine with the flowers, and others use the leaves in salads. I’ve not tried either one, but have heard from others that both are delicious if prepared properly. Herbalists use dandelion root for preparations said to detoxify the liver, improve kidney function, and aid digestion. The bright yellow flowers also bring great joy to small children who proudly present their Moms with dandelion bouquets. I remember doing this more than once when I was a child, and I remember our daughter bringing them for me.

And for me personally, well I just love to photograph them during every part of their life cycle.

“Dandelions are just friendly little weeds who only want to be loved like flowers.”

Heather Babcock