Monday, June 8, 2015

Milk Thistles in June

 "Cut thistles in May, they'll grow in a day; cut them in June, that is too soon;
cut them in July, then they will die."

~Mother Goose rhyme

I love milk thistles....I just can't help myself.
I'm absolutely struck by the beautiful prickliness of them!
And it seems to be peak season for them here in my neck of the woods.
Is there something wrong with me...
...that something random would delight me so??

I do realize that everyone may not share my views.
I am not a farmer and I don't know if farmers like them much.
I understand there are many health benefits and many parts of them are edible,
although I also read that they can be somewhat toxic to cattle and sheep.

It's amazing what you learn about something that you basically knew nothing about...
...just because you think it's beautiful and do a little research.
I didn't realize that milk thistle is in the sunflower family either...interesting...

So here are basics....straight from Google:
Milk thistle, or Silybum marianum, is a member of the Asteraceae (Daisy Family),
( seems the daisy and the sunflower must be related too!) and is also known by several other names, including Blessed Milk thistle,
Spotted thistle, St. Mary's thistle, Marian thistle, Holy thistle and Variegated thistle.
 It should not be confused with Blessed thistle, Cnicus benedictus.

And here is a link, in case you just have to know more about them...

~Richard Wilbur

This upstart thistle
Is young and touchy; it is
All barb and bristle,

Threatening to wield
Its green, jagged armament
Against the whole field.

Butterflies will dare
Nonetheless to lay their eggs
In that angle where

The leaf meets the stem,
So that ants or browsing cows
Cannot trouble them.

Summer will grow old
As will the thistle, letting
A clenched bloom unfold

To which the small hum
Of bee wings and the flash of
Goldfinch wings will come,

Till its purple crown
Blanches, and the breezes strew
The whole field with down.

"Do not blame the thistle that you see no beauty."
~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

When I was little girl, I was taught to say a little tongue-twister,
right after I had lost that first tooth...
..."Sister Susie sat on a thistle" ...
...except it came out "Thister Thusie that on a thistle".
Remember that??!

Here's another cute tongue-twister I found...

~by Ken Nesbitt
My sister kisses thistles
she's a thistle kissing sis,
thus a thistle's itchy bristles
never miss my sister's kiss.

My sister wishes thistles
weren't as itchy to the kiss,
as the thistle's bristles itches
make my prissy sister hiss.

My sister's hisses whistle
as she kisses with a swish,
so my sister kisses thistles
with a thistle whistle wish.

And here's a few more shots before I go...

“He that has a good harvest must be content with a few thistles”
~Spanish Proverb
Hmmm...there's a lot of truth there, I'd say...
...sometimes I feel like I got more thistles than produce!
But...God is GOOD...ALL the time!

Enjoy your week :)

Sharing at:
Mosaic Monday
Roses of Inspiration
Pink Saturday


  1. Well I never thought of prickliness as being beautiful, but I can appreciate your love of thistles. Your photos certainly make them look beautiful--and gorgeous color and just delightful, creative mosaics. Wasn't thistles what Eyore loved to eat? Did you get on your tummy to take some of those shots? Hope you didn't get prickled!

    1. Thanks Dotsie, and yes, Eyore loved are correct! And I didn't have to get down on my belly for these...they are TALL...most of them way taller than me. No pricklies here! :)

  2. they're really beautiful! and very different from anything i've seen. :)

  3. A great post, Debbie! I see the beauty in these thistles too and you have amazing photos to prove their intricate delicate design!
    Fun tongue twisters!

  4. This is wonderful. We have thistles around our farm. I like the way you used them in the collages.

  5. Love your thistle quilts! I knew nothing of thistles beyond the line from the song so I feel properly enlightened.

  6. milk thistles are very pretty and yes they do look like sunflowers.

    I don't think we have them here in Pa.

    beautiful images friend.

  7. Very nice! Gotta love how we can find information with just a few taps on the keyboard!

  8. Debby I can see why you love these...a flower I have never seen...absolutely gorgeous pictures and mosaics.

  9. I learned something here...never heard of a milk thistle before! The thistles we have around here are the bane of every farmer, but like your milk thistles, they are very pretty. Nice post!

  10. Loved the photos, the info, and the cute little poems! Come to think of it, too, those thistles do look like sunflowers.

    And no, there's nothing wrong with you. There is something very *right* with someone who takes such delight in the small things in life.


  11. I think thistle flowers are pretty (even if they have a laughable Latin name of silybum) and I've captured the admirable Canada thistle a few times in photos. You created some neat patchwork collages this week Debby, thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday.

  12. Really pretty pictues of the thistle. I don't think that we have them here. We do have Canadian thistle here, a very invasive weed that must be erradicated. Beautiful mosaics.

  13. You certainly have captured the beauty of the humble thistle in your photos.

  14. These thistles are a special combination of the pretty and soft and the prickles, You should take up thistle marketing though as we all want to have these in our gardens now!!! Such beautiful photos and mosaics.
    Wren x

  15. What a cute post, I love the thistles. Your images are just beautiful. And the poem are adorable. Thanks for sharing, have a happy day!

  16. I read them aloud. My hubby thanks you for the laughs! hahaha! I love your photos and you know I'm going to ask what program you used to put them together. I love the bright colors and designs! Hugs, Diane

  17. Oh what a darling post! Love the photographs, they are beautiful and the flowers gorgeous! Have been trying the tongue twisters, love them too!
    Have a glorious day!

  18. i have quite an unhealthy obsession with flowers, any kind any color. your photographs are really beautiful, it is quite a lovely flower!!!!

  19. I have quite a love/hate relationship with thistles! They can take over your garde very easily!! But you display them so beautifully. Love the quilt ones.

  20. If there is something wrong with you for loving thistles than you are not alone. I happen to love them as well. I think they are gorgeous and your photos have shown their beauty so well.

  21. Pretty mosaics - thanks for sharing them with us.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  22. I, too, think they are so beautiful! I often tell my husband I love seeing the thistles {from afar} here because they are truly lovely to look at.

    Your photos captured their beauty magnificently and your mosaics are absolutely fabulous! Thanks for blessing my afternoon and for sharing this wonderful post with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

  23. I have never seen thistles look so beautiful! Your photography is stunning. This was a fun visit!

  24. Oh This was done so lovely and colorful! The poems were so enjoyable to read! I do agree with you about they are so pretty in there own prickly way! This was really well done...
    Hugs, Roxy

  25. Debby, you have proven yet again that you can make anything look beautiful with your talented eye and your lens!! I love your colorful collages too!!

  26. Beautiful photos, Debby! And now I can see how it would be a member of the sunflower family. Loved this post!

  27. Debby, I see the resemblance to sunflowers in the photo where it has not opened yet. Thanks for the education. Sylvia D.

  28. Well I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and looking at the beautiful colourful pictures! And the education. Don't you just appreciate Google! Where were they when we were in school?! Truly a lovely post! Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my post. Diane

  29. These are wonderful...I love thistles, too. Just think they are so beautiful!

  30. What a great post - the photos, poems, quotes - just lovely.

  31. Hi Debby! Oh, what a lovely post! These thistles are very pretty and I'm not very familiar with them but you've captured some gorgeous snaps. Thanks for popping in to see me and your advice. I appreciate it so much.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  32. I find myself photographing thistles when in bloom too.
    Hi! I found your link from a comment you left for Rose, and wanted to stop by.

    By the way, I've had a 'doxie' [two of them] in my youth. They're so sweet!!
    You've been married a long the same man. Well, NOT the SAME man, but married to one man...for 47 years now this past month.

    It was a pleasure getting to know you a bit. I'm happy to have stopped by.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping for a visit! My hubby also had a doxie growing up but Oscar is my first experience with one....what a joy he is! Come back anytime!

  33. I love Thistles. They used to grow in our yard when I was a little girl and they bring back sweet memories.

    Sweet post!


  34. I love your beautiful collages! I have always thought the thistles were pretty, too. There is a lot of beauty in many plants that some call weeds. Wonderful post!

  35. "Don't blame the thistle that you see no beauty" yes, it IS there! Thank you for seeing it and sharing with us. You brighten my day : )

  36. These are wonderful photos and the twisters are fun to try! Hope you enjoy the upcoming weekend.

  37. Your mosaics are SO pretty!

  38. I love the saying, "He who has a good harvest must be content with a few thistles." So true about life, huh? I'm gonna write that one down.

  39. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that means so much. I have seen these in the past, but none around here.

  40. I have found this post totally captivating. It is thistle season here too, and in Wisconsin they are considered a noxious weed.. I believe you can be fined for having them on your property. I have to say I enjoy watching the birds eat the seeds in the fall. And I know that the farmers do not like them. I take milk thistle to help with elevated liver enzymes because of the antibiotics for Lyme disease. Your pictures, whether we like thistles or not are beautiful!

  41. Well, I like thistles too; more than just this kind. Maybe we have a recessive Scottish gene. :-) Your photos are beautiful, and I really like the way you made some "quilt" frames for some. So pretty.

    Thistles have another meaning to me as well. Eeyore was always eating thistles, you remember, and he was always gloomy. Well, I have trouble with depression sometimes myself and I try to remind myself sometimes not to "eat thistles" mentally. :-)


Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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