You never can tell where inspiration will hit you. Every day I pass this spot on the way to get a coffee before getting into work. There is a median strip in a busy access road to a shopping center with a boatload of the real thing - the Scottish Thistle.
I've had puny, weedy thistles growing by accident in my gardens before, but they produce, tiny, uninspired weedy thistles. And I pull them out, very carefully. But a week ago I noticed these babies forming their massive thistle flowers. I knew I just had to take my little camera to work soon to take some shots.
The head on this flower is about 3" in diameter, and the spikes on the leaves and stems are brutal. It was, however, worth spilling a little blood to get these shots and I am looking forward to drawing them.