Monday, May 30, 2011

a Delightful Ditch of Dandelions

I took these photos a short while ago on day that was so truly gorgeous I couldn't help but go outside for a walk. I traversed the neighborhood and enjoyed the fresh air, greenery and flowering crabapple trees. I began to approach my old elementary school, and as I did I passed by a sort of ditch, an area that was sunken in the dirt and filled with water and the remains of fallen leaves, that lay just beside the sidewalk.

I decided to pop off the head of a dandelion growing in the nearby grassy areas (since many of them were in bloom at the time) and throw it in the water. Then, I just kept doing that - for more than an hour I spent my time collecting dandelion heads and laying them on the surface of the water in such a way that they'd float upright upon it.

I don't know how many flowers I ended up getting on there, but it was definitely more than fifty. It was really interesting to watch them move about on the water with the force of the wind, sometimes collecting at one side of the ditch or the other, and sometimes spreading out evenly upon it. By the time I tired of it, my hands were dirty and yellow from handling the dandelions, and my calves ached from doing so much bending over and squatting, but I felt quite pleased nonetheless.

Once I was done, I took some photos, and I thought I'd upload them here, for as simple as this was, it's a little like art. I know the artist Andy Goldsworthy did a lot of things like this - using natural ingredients like flowers, leaves, rocks, wood, wool or even ice, he'd make very simple but interesting and beautiful temporary art pieces in natural environments. Some of them involved arranging leaves or flower petals in the water of ponds or streams, and their interaction with the water and movement in it was part of the art.

While my little adventure with dandelions wasn't much ofanything in the scheme of things, and certainly wasn't as interesting or work-intensive as his works, it was still fun, and brightened up an otherwise dank little pool of water.

Is it art? I don't know, but I don't think it matters whether it is or not. I had a good time, and I got my hands dirty, and I made something pretty: that's good enough for me.


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