Most of my days are spent far from an actual hiking trail, but even in the city you can stumble across some lovely nature. Cropping up in the crack of a brick wall, our #NatureDoodlewash “city” hike has brought us to this little flowering weed. Dandelions are often considered a rather pesky plant for those wanting to keep a green lawn, but seeing one on a city street always make me happy. It’s as if nature is saying, yeah, I’m here and no amount of concrete is keeping me out of this place. A single dandelion always looks so tough and ballsy in the middle of an urban jungle.
Despite its reputation as an unwanted weed, every part of the dandelion is useful from the root to the leaves to the flower itself. This little yellow wonder can be used for food, medicine and as a dye for coloring. As for the unusual name, dandelion actually comes from the French “dent de lion” which mean’s lion’s teeth. This loosely refers to the toothed leaves the plant produces. Taking shortcuts down alleyways in the city, I often come across these flowers. A tiny defiant bloom, hidden from the pesticides that killed its friends just around the corner. I quietly walk by, proud to keep its secret hiding place just between us.
It seems strange to find something so small and fragile next to a large manmade building towering above it. And a bit sad to think we’ve taken up so much space that this is the last little safe place it was able to find. Though humans have decided it’s a weed and worthy of destruction, these plants have been here a lot longer than we have. I prefer to share the world with them and enjoy their beauty. And as I’m walking across the concrete that used to be grass, I’m simply reminded that in reality things are quite different than I used to believe. In truth, I’m actually the dandelion in their city.
Join me throughout the month of June on a virtual nature hike! Show everyone what you love most in nature with a watercolor sketch or painting and tag your images #NatureDoodlewash so we can all enjoy it with you! I’ll create a featured artist gallery of our global hike at the end of the month!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna, Sap Green, Quinacridone Rust, Azo Orange, Azo Yellow, Dioxazine Purple, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!