As you can see the Rosebay Willowherb is just about to burst into flower. Rosebay Willowherb is called a first coloniser and it likes nothing better than a good fire to clear the air. In autumn they produce a mass of fluffy seeds for the wind to disperse. The seeds then lie around, sometimes for years, waiting for a nice comforting blaze.
Back in 1700-ish, Rosebay Willowherb was pretty rare here in the UK, but then they started building railways. It is entirely possible that the Rosebay Willowherb actually invented railways and just allowed Stevenson et al. think that they did it.
Just think about it. The swoosh of the passing train to carry those thistle-downy seeds far and wide and the sparks from the engine, starting fires along the track to exterminate the locals. They don’t call them colonisers for nothing, you know.
Wikipedia mentioned that the Dena’ina people of Alaska mix Rosebay Willowherb with their dog food. Dan Wall over on northierthanthou lives in Alaska. He pops in here from time to time. Hi Dan. Perhaps if you bump into a Dena’ina who is feeling conversational you could ask him/her if this is true – or do they just pop to the supermarket for a tin, like the rest of us?
I know the locals over there are supposed to have wandered across from Siberia, but we also know that in this part of the world, during our Ice Age, we lived by hunting and fishing along the edge of the ice sheet. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that when the ice sheets melted away (what a disaster global warming turned out to be) some of our relatives were left trapped on that side of the Atlantic.
You might like to mention that they left some of their bone sewing needles behind. We could post them on, I suppose.