Tooth of the lion

I spent the morning in maintenance mode which means I rode the mower for most of it. We finished shearing yesterday, so I also spent some time cleaning and oiling the clippers to be sure they were in good order next year. As I transitioned to afternoon chores I noticed that some of the Poppies in Joanna’s garden had opened and that a large number were about to follow suit. As I photographed some of these I noticed a number of interlopers. Dandilions. Although the presence of this weed frustrates me, for it disrupts the otherwise uniform green of the lawns that surround the house and barns, I have always thought it quite beautiful when in seed. As I prepared this post I realized that I didn’t know anything about the origin or meaning of the common name (the Latin genus is Taraxacum). I looked about and discovered that the word dandelion is generally thought to be derived from the French dent de lion, lion’s tooth, and refers to the jagged shape of the leaf. If you look at the images below you will see that each differs in the precise position of the plane of focus. It is placed away-from-center and on the delicate plumes in the first, and toward-the-center and on the seeds themselves in the second. I could not decide which I liked better, so posted the pair. Click either image to scroll between somewhat larger renditions. Which do you like?

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