In this shot I wanted to isolate the line of thistles from the background, so I set my aperture at f/4. As a result, not all the thistles were in good focus, but I thought that overall the shot worked. I also liked the mixture of new and old thistles.
Later in the day I noted that the afternoon sun was again backlighting a different set of thistles in another field. This time I focused on individual plants, as in the following shots.
What I found that I liked were the bilateral horizontal "leaves," as shown in the following shots.
These perhaps could have been a bit crisper if I had used a tripod, but I was just too lazy and took these handheld.