A Canada Thistle, I believe, but can you imagine a more delicate flower than this? If you didn't get in close, you'd think of stickers and skin rashes. But have a close look at the delicate lavender filaments of the flower and you can't help but fall in love with this lowly weed.
These flower abundantly just now, beside roadways and in ditches and across unkempt fields. Their only care is what nature provides: some sun, a little rain. And yet they grow luxuriously among the other weeds, holding their regal blooms high.
Yet closer to our house I planted sweet peas some years back because I didn't like having to clean the dead vines from the trellis each winter. One year, after pulling all the withered vines down, I thought I might transplant a single start to the meadow, placing it near the edge where I could watch it. Now, at least five years later, I am annually rewarded with bright pink at the base of the weeds.
Have a look:
There, on the ground, this plant still thrives. There is no trellis, nothing to pull itself up with, and yet it blooms. I drove by and saw the blanket of pink and couldn't believe how well it is doing. A perennial, the plant requires no care at all. If I am coaxing this one to become a weed, I have nearly succeeded. It's seen no water from a hose in years, no turning of the soil, no fertilizer but for what the soil itself produces through decay.
Who says we humankind are much needed? The world will go on without us ... and beautifully, too.