Environmental educator to present ‘The Teeth of the Lion’

FORT HUNTER — Environmental educator and author Anita Sanchez will present on “The Teeth of the Lion,” stories, lore, and recipes involving dandelions, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. inside the Enders House at the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site.

Once a highly esteemed medicine and a popular garden plant, it’s only recently that dandelions have lost their popularity, according to a news release. There will be dandelion tea to try and specimen collection of dandelions and other common medicinal plants.

Always a champion of the unloved plants of the world, Sanchez published her first book The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion in 2006. “I always loved dandelions, but what made me actually sit down and write a whole book about them was the horrifying fact that more than seven million songbirds a year are killed by pesticides used on lawns and gardens. I started looking for reasons why people should appreciate dandelions, and just kept finding more and more reasons why, throughout history, they have been valued as having the power and beauty of lions.”

The Teeth of the Lion tells the story of the common dandelion, that remarkably widespread plant that is known, for better or worse, by just about everybody. Through a series of short essays, Anita Sanchez takes the reader on a journey through the natural history of the dandelion and its long association with humans. Joan Jobson’s illustrations add details and subtle accents that enhance this journey. Well adapted ecologically to spread into and thrive within disturbed sites — such as the lawns, playgrounds, roadsides, and parking lots in which they are most often encountered today, and viewed as weeds — dandelions also have had a lengthy, welcomed association with humans as medicine, food, and objects of ritual, magic, and folklore. “The Teeth of the Lion” will be a source of enjoyable, fascinating, memorable information of interest to all users. It will provide naturalists, wildflower enthusiasts, gardeners, interpreters, teachers, landscapers, and homeowners a better understanding of one of the most common, well-known, and perhaps underappreciated plants to be found anywhere.

There will be a brief friends of the site group meeting prior to the presentation. This is a free event open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For information about this program and other events listed, please call the visitor center at (518) 829-7516, email schohariescrossinf@parks.ny.gov or visit its Facebook page.