Bull Thistle is an introduced wildflower to North America that many view as an invasive weed. Which ever your point of view there is no denying many of our animals use this spiny plant for food.
Post bloom, thistle down is produced. This will eventually allow the wind to carry seeds to new destinations. Unless of course an American Goldfinch (seen here) gets there first. Goldfinch are very skilled at removing the seed from the thistle down.
While Dark-eyed Junco’s and small mammals also enjoy the seed, Eastern Cottontail Rabbits and White-Tailed Deer enjoy the spiny leaves and stems.
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Images captured August 13 2016