Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eye of the Tiger

A field trip to Adams County afforded some wonderful opportunities to get up-close and personal with many species of butterflies, and a few interesting "bugs" too. More photos will be forthcoming, but for now, let's say I happened to see things "eye to eye" with this fella.

He brought along his own "straw" to nectar on a native thistle, and while he probed the flower with his proboscis (a fitting name for the implement), I checked out the leaves to determine which thistle we were both enjoying.

Tiger Swallowtail on Tall Thistle.
And so we stood, face to face, admiring the beautiful flowers of Tall Thistle, Cirsium altissimum. This particular thistle is not very well armed; it barely has bristles. Those lanceolate leaves also offer a nice color-contrast with their noticeably lighter undersides.
He wondered why gardeners never consider planting these lovely plants, as they are guaranteed to attract a host of butterflies. I said I would pass the idea along, since we both agreed: thistles could add a new dimension to the average flower garden!

No comments:

Post a Comment