Thistles are commonly seen as weeds by most people but I think they are beautiful.
They start to flower after all the other spring flowers have faded in the summer heat and come in so many different shapes and sizes.
I have no idea which variety this particular thistle is, but it's very big, very purple and very prickly!
We have to be really careful of these critters when cycling in the summer as if one of these makes contact with your arms and legs, it can be really painful.
I took this photo on a track near the mountain village of Drouseia close to the Akamas peninsula.
A few weeks later, once the heat of summer really kicked in, most of these thistles turned into a brown shrivelled mess. BUT, the prickly bits stay just as sharp, as my husband Al discovered when he caught one in his finger while racing past on a downhill run.
On getting home, he tried to pull the spike out with his other hand, but finally resorted to grabbing a pair of pliers. We measured the "thorn" that came out and it was over an inch long. Ouch, makes me squirm just thinking about it!
The moral of this story about thistles in Cyprus is, look, photograph, but try not to touch :)