Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Explore Outdoors ~ Thistles


I've always liked thistles. Sure, they're sharp and prickly - and you wouldn't want to step on them with bare feet. But they are also soft and fluffy. Butterflies and bees visit the flowers, and goldfinches snack on their seeds. 

So this week let's take a closer look at thistles you find in your neighborhood. They're opportunistic, so you'll probably find them growing in "weedy areas" or along roadsides, old fields, or (in my case) the un-mowed back bit of the yard.

  • What color is your thistle? And does it have a fragrance?
  • What does the flower feel like?
  • Where do you find spines and prickles on your thistle? 
  • How long are the spines?
  • What insects do you find on the thistle flower?
  • Are there any insects on the leaves or stem?
  • What kind of seeds do thistles produce?
  • Dig one up. What sort of root does it have? (you may want to wear thick gloves for this!)

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