Reflections from Buttercups

Black and white photo of a young girl wearing sunglasses and posing in a fold-up lawn chair.
A Hollywood moment wearing sunglasses in my parents backyard.

Being a kid in the spring was fun for me.  I’ve already shared with you about picking dandelion greens for a salad and sucking the nectar from the honeysuckle blossoms. Well, there was yet more to come from Mother Nature each spring.

The dandelions came first, then the honeysuckle and then the buttercups.  Ah, the buttercups.  We were so lucky.  War had not been waged on weeds in lawns at this point in my little life.  I was a post WWII baby and folks were busy getting their loves & lives back together, making babies, buying a house (thanks to the GI Bill), buying a new refrigerator and trying to silently put the scars of the war in a place that no one would know about.  So silly weeds were the last on the list of people’s worries.  This was a great time for buttercups and for kids who had to use their imagination and make fun.

We had to entertain ourselves.  Having just a few toys and living in a home that had inside tensions created the perfect formula for playing outside whenever possible.  The coming of the buttercups was yet another reason for us to enjoy being out there.

Buttercups grew freely in our yard, but we knew they would not be there for long because our Dad would soon be using his manual, sharp bladed, push-mower to level the grass and cut down our beloved yellow lovelies.  Our dolls got to come along. We’d pick the little flowers, leaving long stems and make bouquets of butter.  Butter? Simple fun…hold a buttercup under your chin…if you see a reflection of yellow on your skin, you like butter.  Seems we always saw a yellow reflection and never questioned the outcome.  I wonder if anyone today plays that simple butter pastime. Might be a challenge, as buttercups are not in the picture due to pesticides and fertilizers and lawn services.  I guess people just trust their taste buds.

Buttercups are a simple faucet of nature.  Considered a weed by many, they are a flower. They are poisonous to cattle and horses.  Humans as well cannot eat these little lovelies.   Interesting to me that we kids never considered eating them, even though they represented butter to us.

Visit: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/why-buttercups-reflect-yellow-on-chins to find out the scientific reason there is a reflection.

4 thoughts on “Reflections from Buttercups

  1. Love these childhood memories. We had those clover with little yellow flowers and would chew on those. We also made crowns by braiding dandelions when they had really long stems, mudpies after it rained, and snuck fresh baked cookies off the counter. Thanks for bringing back the memories of the days when people had lawns that were yellow with dandelions.

    Liked by 1 person

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