Monday, August 24, 2009

more thistles

These pictures were taken on Brean Down yesterday. It was mainly overcast but thistles always produce nice photos. (When it was sunny, I was getting my hair cut down by the fort at the end. This is the second time I've had my hair cut on Brean Down, and I assure you there's no pleasanter spot for what Laura, however, described as a "stupid chore". Then she shot off up the gradients leaving me trailing, an infected tooth - or, more likely, de-toxing the painkillers - seeming to have cut my lung capacity in half.)

Above and below, marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre), very common in woods and wet places, also here on the north face of the down among bracken. This face gets comparatively little sun and attracts woodland plants though there are no trees - none taller than the marsh thistles themselves, anyhow. More often than not, quite a lot of the plants have white flowers, but not here.

A few hundred yards away you can find diminutive specialists of thin dry soil and full sun, such as this:

(Above and below) Carline thistle (Carlina vulgaris), attracting plenty of insect interest despite its uncolourful appearance.



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