Prickly Beauties

I have a love, hate relation with these prickly beauties.

Thistles are like the scourge of the prairie and area farmers almost have an apoplexy when they see them. But as with all things of nature, they know where they belong and when. We have patches of them scattered about the farm, in spots bare of grass, in places where we left too much residue from hay feeding. In places nothing else will grow.

They’re the first plants to show up after stress in an area; they’re opportunists, which is one of the reasons why I like them.

I love how they expose and share their velvety softness, among their thorny spikes. They stay in flower late in the season and despite their opportunistic persistence and seeming uselessness otherwise, they still give back.