My Story:        Stephanie Homstad          

     I was excited to learn more about this flower when I picked it to tell the story of a praire flower for my Knowing Nature class at UND.  I've always loved flowers, but have never really taken the time to educate myself about any of them.  I found it really fascinating to learn some of the interesting facts about this flower and think that it would be fun to learn even more about other flowers. 

    I've seen thistles out on my grandparent’s old farm land.  I always thought that they were gorgeous flowers, but I was always leery of them because their leaves look like stickers.  I thought that the flower heads were sharp and spiky and would stick to you like a burr.  I think that thistles get a bad rap.  When I asked my mom, who works at the public library, to find me some books on flowers that had information about thistles, she said, “You mean the weed?”  My husband who works in lawn care told me that they spray the ditches to get rid of the thistles for the city.  People seem to consider them as a sign of untidiness.  I learned though my research that this is true for some invasive species of thistles, but not for the native species, like Flodman’s Thistle, that have useful traits.  I think it’s kind of sad when you think about it, if we just stop and look we could probably see the beauty in a lot of things that we just destroy because someone told to cut it down or spray it with chemicals to get rid of it. 

    I’ve always loved to see wild flowers growing in the ditches and in fields.  I think that there is nothing more stunning than a patch of land that has been spared of man’s meddling.  To me, the most beautiful land is the Tallgrass Prairie because it is my home!

         ---Stephanie A. Homstad

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