Sunday, August 08, 2010

'Tis the Season

Whan that August with his shoures soote
the droghte of June hath perced to the roote,
and bathed every veyne in swich parfoum
of which vertu engendred is the shroum....

...thanne longen southwestryn folk to goon on pilgrimages. So might Chaucer have ywrote, had he lived in the Southern Rockies and been more interested in fungi than relics.

Everyone's doing it: Chas, Sometimes Far Afield, denizens, and we are not immune. A >12,000' summit plus boletes: that's what I call a successful day! And we even had time afterwards to head to the county fair and feast our eyes on prize-winning swine.

Can anyone identify these hideous alpine thistles, pendulous beneath the weight of their fecund efflorescence? (First shot is in the Pecos Wilderness, high above the mushrooms; below is a specimen up North Crestone Creek in the Colorado Sangres. Click to enlarge.)

Update: Think we've got a fairly positive ID: Cirsium eatonii var. eriocephalum. A big thanks to Al at the highly-recommended Southwest Colorado Wildflowers site for help with this one.


Chas S. Clifton said...

There is a yellow thistle on this page that might be it (scroll down).

Great boletes -- hope none of them were wormy.

WV: vallying -- the opposite of mountaineering.

Peculiar said...

A little wormy, but we'll still do okay out of them.

Were you thinking Cirsium parryi? Definite maybe, but neither photos nor description give certainty. I had looked through the SW Colorado wildflowers site (great site!), but yellow is such a vast category. The real distinguishing feature of these things, to my non-botanist's eye, is the way they bend over under the weight of their flowers, and that's not alluded to on the C. parryi page. Maybe I'll e-mail the site maintainers.

jan jarvis said...

this is a stubble across-a few days ago, driving through Jackson Hole-I stopped to see if an old friend from the 60s still lived there-found out through Google that Harry was dead a long time ago-then directed here-to bodio-the author I was reading to my mother as she died-one of those steps that have one scratching one's head-and sorrow

Peculiar said...

Hi Jan, always good to make the acquaintance of a friend of Harry's. Who's the friend in Jackson, out of curiosity? I'm actually Harry's son; Steve Bodio is my stepfather and he writes at If you feel like dropping me a line, you're more than welcome: frishmanphoto at