Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.
Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, — our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!
– Excerpt from “The Pumpkin” by John Greenleaf Whittier
THE POETRY of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead 5
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
– “On the Grasshopper and Cricket” by John Keats
Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Nemo me impune lacessit is Latin for “No one provokes me with impunity”. It is the motto of the Order of the Thistle – a Scottish order of chivalry.
Scotish legend states that long ago, an invading Viking hoard almost caught a sleeping Scottish army by surprise. However, an advancing Viking warrior stepped on a thistle with his bare feet, crying out in pain and waking the Scots, who then soundly defeated the Vikings.
In gratitude, the plant was named the Guardian Thistle and was adopted as the symbol of Scotland.
The thistle also played a role in the Scottish-Independence movie Braveheart. A gift of a thistle clip
“A Gift of a Thistle” composed by Jon Horner for the film can be heard here