Flower of Scotland
The Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is the national flower of Scotland and at this time of year can be found along the paths and roads here in East Lothian and all over the country.
The thistle is actually a common weed and legend has it that a thistle saved a Scottish army from invading Norsemen when one of the attackers stepped on a thistle in bare feet. His cries of pain alerted the Scots to the danger and they won the day.
Since then the Thistle has become the emblem of Scotland and it can be seen all over the country, including the on the national rugby team's shirts and on the official tourist board website.
This morning I spotted a big group of Spear Thistles at Barns Ness just as the sun came up over the horizon. Using the X-T1 and the 50-140mm f2.8 zoom I took the image at the top of this page in the morning light.
The second image below was taken on the headland overlooking the beach at Whitesands.
CLICK HERE to read more about the Scottish Thistle on the Visit Scotland website