This week Awesome Stories brings you the power and passion of flowers.
Flowers bring me endless joy. Just like a bee, I am drawn to the beauty and smells of flowers. Bees and flowering plants have a mutual relationship where both species benefit. Most of us know that flowers depend on bees for their survival and reproduction. They’ve developed all sorts of tricks to attract insects including vivid colors, specific smells, leaf patterns, and don’t forget those sexy stamens! 🙂 After collecting nectar and pollen from different flowers, the bees fly back to their colonies, share the pollen, and create honey. And in turn, we humans depend on the bees to pollinate most of our food crops. Flowering plants make up about 70 percent of the world’s plant populations. Flowers also depend on birds, animals, wind, and water for their pollination. Bees are a critical part of our planet’s ecosystem and have recently been dying off in accelerating numbers. The main causes of bee deaths seem to be excessive use of pesticides, growing parasites harmful to bees, reduced habitat, and diminished use of honey to feed the bees. Sadly, many honey growers are feeding their bees high fructose corn syrup instead of honey. This is another case of our need to wake up to the consequences of our actions on the planet.
Flowers As Food
In case you didn’t know, many flowers are edible and cooking with flowers has come back into vogue. Flowers as food has been dated back thousands of years to China, the Middle East, and India. Many flowers or at least parts of the flowers are edible, but please be safe and smart about it. Use a known flower and source to identify them such as local experts or online charts like the one in this What’s Cooking America article. I’ve eaten dandelions, purse, clover, redbud flowers, and a few other backyard treats. I learned a few new ones in the article such as daylilies and marigolds that I want to try. Dandelion roots have medicinal benefits. I’ve always loved the smell of roses, but didn’t know you can eat them! What are some of the flowers that you’ve eaten or cooked with?
Tips to be safe from the article: make sure they are edible, wash them, remove stamens and pistils, come from a pesticide-free source, and eat them in small amounts, one variety at a time to see how you digest them.
Frolicking in the Tulips
Apparently, mice love flowers, especially tulips, almost as much as bees. Miles Herbert is a British photographer who loves to teach workshops and capture mice playing in tulips. Mice like to eat the stamens and nectar, as well as simply hang out in the petals! See the article for many more adorable photos on mice frolicking in the tulips. I bet the photos will bring a smile to your day. 🙂
May your week be full of food, flowers, and frolicking!