At Geary County Fishing Lake a stand of unearthly looking vegetation catches my eye. It looks like a patch of thistle spray-painted with Wildcat purple. Kansas State University is just over a couple hills, so it seems a possibility. But further back in the grass is another purple stand, and another. Closer up I see metallic blue filaments swirl around the core. People will think I got over-exuberant in PhotoShop so I snap off a sample to bring home as proof.
On the Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses web site I find that it’s called Leavenworth Eryngo – not a thistle at all but a prickly member of the parsley family.