The high ridge top breaks into open fields as I travel a back road that I’ve not set etes upon in decades. The winding single lane road hasn’t changed much since I was less than ten years old and riding in a early 1970s Jeep Comanche pickup truck. Sometimes my grandfather took the long way to get to where we were going just to spend time together. We could have gotten there in ten minutes but instead we spent at least an hour on the back road.
The mountain tops of West Virginia has some of the most beautiful farmlands! As my big blue truck topped a blind hill I was thrilled to the Thistle growing on the edge of the road. I’ve always associated Thistle with the edges of pastures and barbed wire fences held up by posts cut from Black Locust. I drove on for a few more minutes until I found a place where I could turn the long wheelbase of the big blue truck around. I would find the Thistle being visited by a beautiful Tiger Swallowtail. It struck me that one of the most delicate creatures in nature was feeding on one of the most hostile flowers. All it would take would be a single wrong move and the thorns would shred the beautiful wings. But I suppose that in this life one has to be able to take risks in order to win a sweet reward.
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