1 EAGLETON NOTES: Thistles: Well I Do Feel Silly



Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Thistles: Well I Do Feel Silly

Last Saturday - is it really that long ago? - Cynthia very kindly did a posting on her blog entitled Moonflowers and Purple Scottish Thistles for GB. It was a beautiful thing to do and I cannot say how much I appreciated it. I also appreciated the Moonflowers of which I'd never heard. I thought they were exquisite and would love to have some. Obviously they would never grow in the Hebrides (and probably not in the UK) but I wonder if they grow in New Zealand? Anyway, as usual, I digress.

Cynthia asked if the Thistles were the same as in Scotland and I was hesitant. Certainly the colour of one seemed bluer but Cynthia explained about that. I would have been 98% confident that I knew exactly what a Thistle looked like. After all I have seen thousands and have photographed many - possibly hundreds. Now one of my problems is that, unlike most people, I don't carry images around in my head easily. I can't look at a map and remember what it looks like 3 minutes later and that goes for most images. However when I came to look at my photos even I was surprised by what I thought a Thistle looked like. What I had in my head was the stereotypical picture of the Thistle and not the reality. OK it's a matter of detail but important detail. So if you go to Cynthia's posting and look at her Thistles and then compare them with some of my photos below you will see that we are talking about what looks to me like the same plant.

I do feel silly. Not because I can't carry images in my head. That's just an affliction. But because I did something I try not to do. I jumped to a conclusion without checking.

Taken at Eagleton today

And again

A bee on a Thistle on Loch Lomond side


  1. Beautiful!
    No need to feel silly...we did not know and now we do!
    Your photos turned out to be very professional in appearance!
    Mine are a bit fuzzy because I had to wade through ditches two feet high in weeds to take the photos...I could never get as close as I wanted to.
    We had fields and fields and fields of thistles in our area for about six weeks. I am sure that the ranchers consider them very invasive, as they seem to have taken over some entire pastures. But they were beautiful. They are dried up now.
    Loch Lomond! I can't believe that I'm looking at a photo of a thistle taken by a friends in Scotland. Amazing.
    ;^) Thank you, GB.

  2. Wow! I gift from my mother to you and then you back to my mother...all the way overseas...thistle bouquets for everyone! Thank you for your comment on my new "drifter" journey: )
    Your photos and insight are going to prove to be some lovely scenery along the way...

  3. It doesn't help, GB, that there are a number of species of Thistle. The top ones at Eagleton, for example, are Creeping Thistles whilst the Loch Lomond one (also found by the beach by you) is a Spear Thistle. There is a lot of debate as to which is the 'real' Scottish Thistle. It is usually shown as being a Spear Thistle but some people use a Woolly Thistle.

  4. You see I should keep out of areas about which I know less than half of nothing. I didn't even see the difference I just thought some where 'older' than others.

    Come to think of it, though, if I do keep out of those areas I'd never blog!!