Riding up 13th Street from the library to the studio just now I saw a firefly. It was the first one that I have seen this year. I was at the library doing research and I read, while I was there, that black bears and grizzly bears (among other animals) enjoy dandelion flowers. I was trying to imagine a black bear eating a dandelion flower.
The firefly reminded me of a time this past winter when my father took a friend and I skiing. We were on the lift and all of a sudden my dad started chuckling and he pointed to his right. There was a mother black bear and two baby black bears following her walking up the mountain on a closed trail. A few runs later we were back on the ski lift and we saw the bears again. This time though they were on a trail that was not closed and the ski patrol had people stopped up the mountain. The mother bear looked frantic and the baby bears looked confused. Their fur was exquisite next to the snow.
Karen gave me that book, The Road by Comac McCarthy (apparently they are making a movie out of it now) for my birthday last year. Not only did it scare me so much that I was unable to sleep for days, but I always think about this one line in the book whenever something depressing like nuclear war and the apocalypse come into conversation. The line went something like "Everything was on fire". In the book nothing can grow anymore, which perhaps is why the book scared me like no other book or movie has ever done before. However, this is what made the story a little unbelievable to me because something would have to survive and find a way to grow.
Researching dandelions is, surprisingly, quite a depressing thing to do. It seems as though the majority of books that I found gave remedies to kill dandelions. I actually found one book called Weeds: Friend of Foe? that listed reasons why certain weeds are good and then why they are bad and how to kill them. Technically, dandelions are herbs but they were one of the "weeds" listed in this book.
There is always something heartwarming about the "first" of each season... first firefly, first snowflake, first colored leaf. No matter what it always makes me smile. And when I smile there is always this renewed sense of mystery and wonder as to how it came back. It does not belong yet and that is what makes it so special.