The thistle, just beginning to open, is surrounded by a prickly armor of the sharpest of spikes. The petals glow in the morning sun — which at 9:00 was over ninety degrees — and seem to be farming its intense energies. It makes me wonder if, despite all of our technology, this small, armored flower, growing in this harsh climate, isn’t a more efficient harvester of sunlight than any solar battery.
The other thing that is so amazing is how soft the petals of a thistle are compared to the offensive prickliness of the rest of the plant. Even a botanical churl has a soft center.