The Dandelion – The MHA Docent Newsletter

The Dandelion is the MHA Docents newsletter and is published 5 times annually.
To download the latest Dandelion or to access our archives, please visit the Newsletters page.

Why do we call our newsletter The Dandelion?
In 1994, the docents had a contest seeking submissions for a new name for the docent newsletter, which until that time had the catchy name “Docent News.”  After reviewing many entries, Betty Hutchinson’s nomination was chosen.  The following article, taken from the first issue of the newly named Dandelion Press, is Betty’s explanation of the genesis of the name.

Dandelion, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Stars of the earth,
These golden flowers;
Emblems of our own great resurrection;
Emblems of the bright and better land.

The first colonists brought dandelions to America where they have flourished and scattered everywhere.  In considering an appropriate name for our newsletter, it seems a fitting symbol for the MHA Education Committee and the docents themselves.

The dandelion is a hardy plant with deeply notched leaves that reminded the ancient French of lions’ teeth; hence “dent de lion” became Anglicized to “dandelion”.  Cutting it off at the surface only encourages the long root to regenerate the plant more vigorously.  The root may be dried and used for medicinal purposes.  Longfellow’s “stars of the earth” brighten our world and act as harbingers of spring.  Perhaps they overdo it a bit when it comes to tidy lawns, but who would eliminate their beauty and cheer from the countryside?

Dandelion greens are best picked and eaten before the blooms appear.  Wine can be made from the blossoms.  The golden-yellow head is really a cluster of flowers that are self-pollinating.  Beauty continues as the seeds form a perfect sphere on a tall pedestal and later are blown by nature or a child to a random destination.  The docents, too, serve as a catalyst for disseminating authentic seeds of knowledge to young and old alike.”

To download the latest Dandelion or to access our archives, please visit the Newsletters page.