Thistles are a plant I’ve always found attractive, despite their prickles. Maybe the purple flowers appeal to my distant (and uncertain) Scottish ancestry. According to legend an invading Norse army was attempting to sneak up at night upon a Scottish army’s encampment. During this operation one barefoot Norseman had the misfortune to step on a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain, thus alerting the Scots to the presence of the invaders.
Thistles look soft and appealing at this time of year when the thistledown protects the seeds under a silky coat. These ones are maturing undisturbed along a track at Waimairi Beach.
“Scots people thank their lucky thistle
which led to Norsemen’s swift dismissal.”