Most of the thistles around Roundtop still look like my first photo for today, but a few are already done. Those sport dry seed pods and dry leaves, finishing their season earlier than most of the other seasonal plants. Gardeners hate this plant, of course, and it is an invasive species, as are so many in this country. I have a tough time hating it, partly because I think the flowers are pretty and partly because American goldfinch love it so much. Of course, I don’t have a yard or a garden where it encroaches.
Canada thistle, as you might not guess, is really a native of Europe. It spreads both by seeds and through an extensive root system. I read recently that it doesn’t do well in higher temperatures or where the soil is rich. Perhaps climate change will eventually reduce its range.
With the cooler, clearer nights, Baby Dog and I, well, mostly me though she enjoys coming along, have been star gazing this week. Now is a good time, with no moon to dim the night. Last night Cygnus the swan flew right through the middle of the Milky Way, a beautiful sight.
Although I know most of the constellations, I don’t always know the stars that are in them. Recently, I found a free app called Sky Guide that I use when I am out. I just point my phone in the direction of the star or stars I want to know about and the guide shows me the same view, but with captions attached to both stars and constellations. It moves around when I do and is pegged to an individual’s location and the time of year, so each user sees only what is pertinent to them. Pretty cool.