Thorns Aplenty

Israeli thistle wildflower, photographed by Jeff Zablow on Qedesh trail, Israel

They were standing, here and there along the Qedesh trail in the uppermost Galilee region of Israel. Ghostly remnants of last year’s summer. I paused to admire their thorny bravado. Armed with a thousand long barbs, they continued to stand guard, warning any and all that intercepting this dried plant skeleton remains fool’s errand.

Again my Israeli wildflower field guides taunt me, my Hebrew language facility near zero. This botanic buzzard may be a Hermon Thistle or another closely related thistle. Here in the States, our thistles often bear thornes, but never such brutal daggers as you see here.

That is very typical of many wildflower species growing in the Israeli biome, nearly all desert, until industrious folks figured out ways to irrigate much of it to life.

Photographer beware. When you see a flying tiny, Israeli blue butterfly for instance, placing your hands on the ground, to secure a good close-up, risks meeting this or that thorny plant growing flush to the ground.

Of course Israel is a challenging place to live (more so with ‘Iran Deals’), and the botany has learned to offset the risks with: Thornes.