Are those pesky dandelions really all that bad?

The most vivid signs of our late spring are miles and miles of those pesky patches of bright yellow dandelions that pop up everywhere ...

MIKE RAINONE – Hammertime

The most vivid signs of our late spring are miles and miles of those pesky patches of bright yellow dandelions that pop up everywhere and thrive under the warm summer sun and showers.

Frustrated green thumbs and groundskeepers want only to get rid of them, while the ladybugs and the bees could not survive without them. Remember when we were kids and we brought mom home a dandelion bouquet, which we had carefully clutched against our chests, and had magically turned our chins yellow?

No matter how much we may complain about their sudden invasion of our glorious greenery, they are not about to go away, as they have been around for 30 million years, and they each cast 20,000 of their puffy seeds into the wind annually. So what good is the dandelion plant except for turning our perfect lawns and playing fields into a colorful mayhem, and for transforming our most energetic landscaping efforts into a spotted disaster? Most of us may not realize or care, but this tall and dominating yellow plant with the not-short-enough life span is not just your plain ordinary weed. The dandelion root is actually edible, is rich in vitamins, and returns vital minerals into the soil when they die. There are actually methods of transforming the plant into tea, coffee, and herbs, while many of us have likely enjoyed a sip or two of dandelion wine throughout our lives. Personally, we found that the ever growing population of our backyard rabbit pen literally devoured every dandy morsel that we tossed into the cages.

Dandelions, which are one of the hardiest of the worldwide weeds, are extremely hard to get rid of, and should be done before they wither and send out their offspring. Likely the easiest way, although labour intensive, is to get down on our hands and knees and dig each little bugger out by the root. There are also many chemical sprays available to do the job, but some of them have been banned over the years, while others may do damage to our more precious plants. Likely the best thing to do before launching an attack is to have a chat with your congenial hardware store or garden centre, who will give you lots of advice on creating and protecting your backyard kingdom.

Whatever the case, there is no doubt all of us will fight back, and have our yards trimmed and weed-free just in time for grad pictures, lawn or patio parties, barbecues and all the rest of those at-home summer get-togethers. As far as the future of the dreaded dandelion is concerned, in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, “They will be back.”

Congratulations to Judy Dick

The reason why I have stayed in the local community newspaper business for nearly 50 years, off and on, is because I have had the pleasure and opportunity of working with staff members, colleagues, and friends like Judy Dick. Judy and I go way back, both being employed at the Ponoka Herald for several years before she joined the sales staff of the Ponoka News and I went to work for the Town of Ponoka recreation department.

Judy, currently manager of the Ponoka News, was honoured this month for 25 years of service to our weekly community newspaper, and Black Press. Sincere thanks for your ongoing care and dedication to your customers, your staff, and your community, and hopefully we can all keep on filling those fun pages together for a few more years.

Now let’s have a little fun

• A young lady was shopping for new curtains, explaining to the salesman that she would like a pair in pretty pink. The clerk proceeded to show her several patterns, and then politely asked her what size of curtains she would like. The young lady replied, “17 inches.”

“That sounds very small,” insisted the salesman. “What room are they for?”

“They aren’t for any room,” she insisted. “They are for my new computer monitor!”

“But Miss,” the salesman said, “computers do not need curtains.”

The perky young lady then quite abruptly replied, “Hellooooo, mine came with windows.”

• What do you call a cross between an elephant and a rhino? Elifino!

• Newest modern day bumper sign: Hang up and drive.

• This ad appeared in a community newspaper from a smart and sassy senior – Dear lady: I would like to marry someone so I can stay out of the old age home a lot longer. I have an apartment, which has turned into a condo. If we share expenses we will both have more money left over at the end of the month.

Time to fire up the BBQ, then sit back in your best lawn chair with a cool one, watch the green grow, and have a great week, all of you!

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