Saturday, February 26, 2005

Painted Lady On Thistle


Painted Lady on California Thistle - Notecard Photo

Description on back of card;

Cirsium occidentale

California Thistle is a fine butterfly attractor and it's also a host plant for the Painted Lady. In the wild you might find stands of these thistles with their delectable flower-heads completely covered in butterflies. Cirsium occidentale's pale grayish-green leaves, spiny profile, and fuzzy purple flowers bring both rugged character and delicate wildlife to your garden.

Vanessa cardui

Painted Ladies, thought to be the world's most widely dispersed butterfly, are known to irrupt in great numbers during El Nino years. Vanessa cardui lays barrel-shaped eggs, singly, on the top of host plant leaves. In some places they're known as Thistle Butterflies because of their great preference for the nectar of Cirsium.
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2 Comments:

Anonymous Nancy said...

Thank you so much for this butterfly photo! There are so many in my yard and I did not know what they were. I have seen a similar looking version but more red than rust, which I think is a red admiral. I love your website! I am so inspired by your doing without a car. I would love to get rid of my car but I'm such a weenie. It hurts to face the fact that like most Americans, I am joined at the hip to my car. I rationalize that because I live in Phoenix it is so hot in summer that I need a car, but you probably can say the same thing about winter there. And if I had no car, how would I take my cat to the vet? Any suggestions or encouragement for this truly radical move?

4:29 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hi Nancy-

Thanks for your nice comments, we appreciate them, and I'm so pleased that you found our blog.

If you think you'd like to try living without a car just experiment with it for awhile. Set up days for yourself where you won't use the car and explore areas closeby where you might make short trips for shopping and get some exercise too (take a back-pack along). You might be surprised how soon you start looking forward to those car-free days and allow yourself more of them. We take our cats to the vet (about 2 miles from here) in our bike trailer which we also use for grocery shopping.
We slowly worked our way out of car ownership because of how much we found we enjoyed walking and riding bikes to work. When we moved up here we no longer worked as mail carriers (we became clerks in the office)and we missed being outside all day, so this was a way to recover some of that outdoor time & exercise. I know how hot it gets there because I visited my friend in Tempe a couple of times one summer. He was a mailman , and believe it or not Tempe has bicycle mail routes, and he loved delivering mail that way. He said it took him a little while to get accustomed to the heat but that he never felt so healthy as when had that bike route.

8:52 AM  

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