I am not sure if this is a thistle.
I have it from three knowledgeable people this is a red or purple star thistle so I am going with that.
this is the first one I have seen this Spring.
these are the first tidy tips I have seen besides in pictures.
This guy was acting pretty strange. She seems to have illusions of grandeur. Rather than looking for a small cavity as most of her type seem ok with doing, she was trying to get into my house through the windows and sliding glass doors. She is seen sitting on the top of my water heater box outside my kitchen. It took about fifteen minutes of her coming and going before she stood still for a couple seconds.
found this many places that were moist or wet.
Popcorn flower of some kind
found them on north facing slope.