A quick update on Billy Connolly: he’s starting to flower.
Here he is from a distance.
He’s already claimed a life, however.
In any event, what with the flowering and such, Billy gets to live for a while longer.
In the meantime, I did a little research on thistles.
According to Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (by Scott Cunningham), thistles are mighty handy to have around. A thistle blossom carried in your pocket helps to guard you (against pickpockets at the very least), throwing thistles into a fire will deflect lighting from your house, and by boiling thistles you can even commune with spirits. What was most surprising to me, however, is Cunningham’s claim that “Wizards in England used to select the tallest thistle in the patch to use as a magical wand or walking stick.”
Really? It certainly wouldn’t be my first choice. On the other hand, when I cut down Billy, I’m going to see what I can do to turn the trunk into something that can be carried without requiring medical insurance.
Oh, and the green, soft-needled ground cover with lovely blue flowers is making a strong come-back — although there don’t seem to be any lovely blue flowers now.