Gaillardia in full glorious bloom

A thistle just about to bloom

(And speaking of prickly invasive species … ever look in a mirror?)

A few days later: a Gaillardia as the seed head begins to mature:

Gaillardia maturing

Here's a more mature Gaillardia seed head
(with a halo of the cottonwood fluff that's doing its magical floating dance right now):

Gaillardia seed head