Canada thistle

Now that thistles are going to seed, the goldfinches are nesting at last. Two males chase—streaks of crayon-yellow through the treetops.

Even hanging upside-down from a Canada thistle and stuffing her beak with thistledown, the goldfinch never stops chittering.

A field cricket chirps and falls silent, but the tree crickets never stop trilling. A small, purple tuft lit up by the sun: Canada thistle.

Cool and still. The piece of thistledown stuck to a porch post by an invisible thread—small flag of an ephemeral country—barely trembles.

Cool, clear and quiet—a silence that’s part Sunday and part molting season. The Canada thistles too are shedding white fur into the breeze.