Thistledown is such a fun word. I just double-checked the names of the fairies in Midsummer Night's Dream, thinking that surely Shakespeare used it. But no -- Peaseblossom, Moth, Cobweb, Mustardseed, and of course Puck, but nary a Thistledown. I can just see her though, with a spiky purple cap and an intricate, airy white gown.
And this thistledown along the millrace was catching the light a few days ago. A goldfinch landed on the one above, loosing a cascade of fluff, but flew off again immediately. I've just been reading that finches like to line their nests with the down. (I also read that finches don't like their feeders to be too close to other types of birdfeeders -- maybe this explains why the finch feeder hanging near the sunflower tube and the hummingbird feeder has not gotten much attention from finches this summer.)
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"