for the love of thistle…


A couple blog posts back I had shot up a photo of the thistle plant – and many of you who read the blog commented on it. Right now there is a limit on the amount of flowers that the bees and butterflies can play around in. However, the thistle plant is everywhere and they are taking full advantage! One would think that the barbs and pointy things would make them hesitate before hopping on?

However, the bee here seems to be enjoying herself quite a bit.

bee on thistle

And here is a different flower with a different bee. (p.s. I adore bumblebees. So if I over-did this I apologize upfront. They are, without question, my favorite insect.)

bee on thistle2

And the butterflies were enjoying the plant quite a bit too.

butterfly on thistle

All of these shots were taken on a road-less area up on Bisbee mountain (an area, if I might add, I would not reveal to anyone for a thousand bucks.) This guy is known as an Arctic Skipper Butterfly and the plant was also covered in little sulphur butterflies as well.

And lastly, I got a shot today of what it looks like when it goes to seed. Suddenly they don’t look so ominous well, …not with that haircut.

thistle gone to seed

I believe this is Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense.)

We also ran into a mother and baby moose. In the state of Washington you can only get a “once in a lifetime tag” for moose so my guess is the little guy will grow up happily on the mountain. They both loped off too quickly to garner a photo and hid in the woods. Who knows maybe one day I’ll run into them again.

p.s. We can’t blame Canada for this invasive weed rumor has it it came from Europe.


11 Responses to “for the love of thistle…”

  1. Wonderful images Lori, I don’t have a problem with thistle, except that I have never got any nice images of it. I especially like the top image, great work.

  2. Thanks Bernie – I like the pollenated bee myself. Peronally I was just enjoying watching so many differnt species enjoy the plant so much. Who’da thunk it?

  3. Someone besides me loves thistle! Beautiful photos. I just love thistle and I call it a bratty flower. The topmost pic is mind blowing. That is what art and photography are all about.

  4. Well your in exellent company painting artist – who can argue how much those little insects are enjoying themselves? I was afraid I overexposed the top picture so, I’m glad you mentioned it because much of my photography tends to be on the darker side and I’m thinking here too that I could use a bit of light on my subjects. Everyday I learn a bit more. thank you.

  5. Wow! Beautiful is an understatement. How did you get the images so sharp?

    I used to do a lot of photography (film) but then spent a few years getting my education (as a non-traditional age student … a nice way of saying “older”). Photography is something you really need to stay in practice with. I’ve also “just” purchased a digital camera, a point-n’-shoot though (the “pro” stuff will have to come later).

    You mentioned that you feel your photos are on the darker side … have you tried using reflectors? You can purchase them in a compact size suitable for hiking but, I used to use plain old aluminum foil.

    Again, really beautiful photographs!

  6. Hi Janet, I think the sharpness has to do with three things really; my camera I use (it’s a point and shoot with dsl capabilities) kind of a middle range guy that you can get various lenses for. (Kodak z650) That said, the second thing really has to do with background (I always attempt angles or pick subjects that offer a lot of space behind them) for my camera it produces a blurring effect of the background and thus emphasizes the sharpness of the subjects and lastly, absolute stillness. I feel guilty that I have a tripod I rarely use (because that means one or two shots and then I can leave the poor bumbles and flowers alone) however, I tend to use (and don’t laugh here) the training my hubby taught me in rifle shooting. (Shooting in the middle of a breath) etc… Gosh I hope all that makes sense with the camera your using. One of my favorite cameras was a simple point and shoot and I’ve found a lot can be done with them. Technology is really amazing.

    Thank you for the pointer with the aluminum foil – I’ll be using that. I like anything that will fit in the back pocket of my jeans and with digital they always seem to not catch enough light for my liking – this is my theory as to why they expose out the skies so often. Thank you – I think that will help a lot. Also thank you for stopping by! 🙂

    ps. I totally understand I’m working my way up to the pro versions too but want to understand all the aspects of the camera I am holding in my hands right now.

  7. Your suggestions for good sharp photos makes a lot of sense, I thank you for sharing. I am quite “new” to digital photography, as I did mention, I’m still kind of “missing” my Nikon F4 capabilities and feeling somewhat “limited” with this point-n’-shoot. But, we must all take “baby steps” if we want to learn well.

    Ah! Patience … I’ll get there!


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