Snow Geese and the Last Dandelion


I may have witnessed an event that happens only once in a million years, a dandelion in bloom at the same time the snow geese have arrived in the valley for the winter. On Monday we spotted snow geese for the first time this season. They were out on the flats between Samish Island and Bay View. Ribbons of them were still flying in off of Padilla Bay. The swans will be following them soon.


Speaking of dandelions, they are evidently a hotbed of controversy. Some botanists take the position that there are some 2,000 species of dandelions, while others put their feet down at just 60 species. I can only imagine the heated discussions botanists have arguing their opposing positions. 1,000 species versus 900 species is a quibble not worth a fuss. 2,000 versus 60 species is a row worth sticking your dukes up for.

No doubt friendships have been smashed, voices raised, possibly even fists flung in these taxanomic squabbles.

Oh well, a dandelion is a dandelion is a dandelion, unless it is a cat’s ear, coltsfoot, or hawkweed. Somewhere in the library stacks of a university is a spirited thesis, dripping with scorn and sarcasm, on the subject of dandelion classification a botanist has poured their heart into. It would be a good read by the fireplace on a dark, cold winter night. With the right director and cast, it could be made into an Oscar worthy movie.



The rains have stopped for now. The fall colors are lovely this year. With snow geese in the valley, winter is not far away.

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