Dandelion Bubbles

There's a flower known by nearly every child because it grow in so many places. Can you guess what it is? It's the dandelion, of course. In the spring, when this plant blossoms, it looks as though Mother Nature had scattered tiny yellow ballons over the green lawn.

You probably believe the dandelion is a single flower. Not so. It's really a miniature bouquet, made up of a great many tiny yellow blossoms. It is what is called a compound plant.

After a while, look where golden-yellow tousle-headed dandelion have been growing. No more yellow is to be seen. Now there are little white bubbles on the lawns. These bubbles, which come after the yellow blossoms have wilted and faded , contain hundreds of seeds, each with its own tiny parachute.

When a brisk breeze comes along, the little see-parachutes in the bubbles are carried away, dancing and floating in the air, to make a landing near and far.

You can have fun with dandelion bubbles. Here's how:

Pick a bubble. Then, count the number of puffs it takes to blow away all its seeds, and then, according to tradition, you'll have the time of day.

There's another tradition that if you blow on a bubble three times, and failed to dislodge its seeds, it's a sign your mother wants you.

For a fun contest you'll need a few players. Each one picks a dandelion bubble. They count to see how many puffs it takes to remove its seeds. The player who used the fewest blows to send the seeds flying is the winner.

For another game, set up a goal about 40 feet from a starting line. Each player stands on the line, and is given a few fluffy sections from a dandelion bubble. At the signal, all the players start blowing their dandelion piece to the goal, trying to be the first to reach there, then back to the starting line. No fair using the hands. Just huffs and puffs. First one back is the winner. 52900100027329 NOVEMBER 15, 1981

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.