thistle-like and commoncanada 2016 – july(3)
click to read the canada 2016 posts

thisselThis morning, on my walk to my aunt-and-uncle’s, I wanted to see how the vegetation changed since mid-May. The blossoms are all gone; it’s the transition between the summer and fall flowers.

Thistle-like, common Burdock is pretty to shoot, I like the spiky purple flower, but a miserable plant to interact with. I remember getting the green burrs on my clothes and spending time yanking and cutting them off. Its only redeeming quality is that the flowers provide pollen and nectar for honeybees when clover is on the wane and goldenrod is still thinking of blooming.

Already, the wild-grass is turning yellow and the unwanted, fast-growing, summer weeds are taking over. They sprout from cracks in driveways and sidewalks; they invade the weed-free gardens and the edges of flower-beds. (My mother laments the Canadian ban of Roundup; my uncle and father spend extra time weeding.) Where spring made everything look clean and fresh, the mid-summer weeds remind all of the coming cold. The frost-free growing season at this latitude is about 130 days. They could have their first frost as early as mid-September. In contrast, Pittsburgh has 171 frost-free days and the first frost is postponed until late-October.

It took a lot of searching to find the common Burdock; it was similar to the work I did to find the marsh-merigolds. In both instances it was fun to finally put a name and information to plants that I’ve seen all my life.