Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thistle Day!

Friday, November 4th was the official Thistle Day celebration at our house! Thistle Day was born out of our milkweed study...mainly when E13 thought that maybe thistles were not the most interesting thing to study and this mama yelled, "What are you talking about? Thistle Day is going to be GREAT!" And his siblings started chanting, "Thistle Day! Thistle Day!" I started spreading the news about our forthcoming celebration and Thistle Day was born.

It's a thing.

On my walk I thought sure I'd seen some thistles and all we had to do was go and check them out. Then we could maybe have an artichoke (they're just giant thistles you know) and do some sketches.

Only what I thought was a thistle was really something else... the plot thickened.

Ok...these are actually teasels, but it was fun to discover this when we returned home. We did find Canadian Thistle further down in a field opposite this one, but it's hunting season so we opted to point to it instead!

Still checking off items from Barb's newsletter grid (check out her newsletter at the Handbook of Nature Study blog- I think you need to sign up)

For some reason, unknown to me at the moment, we needed to know something (in a fervent manner) about a NY state flower....

An egg-shaped pin cushion...yup that is definitely what we saw up there in that first picture!

More notebook pages!

We watched the video about the Canada Thistle . In reading about thistles in the Handbook of Nature Study, I learned that these plants are pretty well a nasty to have around. Since then, my children have been on a crusade to tell everyone they know about it. Recently, they discovered some in our church's prayer garden. The prayer garden! Woe to the garden if it is allowed to stay. So, we found the garden caretaker and let her know...starving them out is the best way to get the job done. Whatever you do, DON'T cut them! Bad things will happen and many plants will grow. Wow. If you don't believe me, check out that video link.

At our recent 4H craft day, R11 and I9 made critter ornaments with Teasel. In colonial times it was a very popular ornament for trees.
That afternoon at 4H we met a woman whose masters thesis was on teasels. Did you know there used to be many teasel farms. They were grown and used to felt wool for soldier's uniforms, etc. Whole farms dedicated to egg shaped pin cushion plants. I imagine that critter up there would be a great wool felter.

Thistle Day was a HUGE success! Have you been doing some nature study this season?


Jen said...

Wow. A masters thesis on teasels? That is hardcore!

Heather said...

I know, right?!