Thursday, August 6, 2009

Not ours, really.

This Yellow-faced Bumblebee is feeding from the flowerhead of a Canada Thistle, Cirsium arvense. This is a highly invasive (and prickly) weed that spreads by windblown seeds and root generation. It is widespread in North America.

Unidentified skipper.

It is originally from continental Europe, and arrived in North America with early European immigrants. Early New Englanders blamed its appearance on French Canadians, hence the name, but it found its way to the continent a number of times, here, there, and everywhere.

In mid-summer the fluffy seeds are produced in vast numbers. They intermix with and stick to almost anything, which may account for their repeated transport between and within continents.

American Goldfinches plucking seeds.

It spreads within pasture lands, in disturbed sites and along road edges. We've seen it, we've stepped on it, we don't like it, although goldfinches and numerous nectar-feeders do.

But the name is wrong, clearly.


Karen said...

Reminds me of that song from the South Park movie, "Blame Canada!" Ew, thistles. Knew that Eeyore likes them, didn't about the goldfinches.

spinyurchin said...

Perchance, do you know what that butterfly is on the thistle? I have one, ONE, in my yard. (Butterfly, not thistle.)

Hugh said...

Spiny, My guess is Woodland Skipper. (Hesperiidae.)