I saw a Monarch butterfly for the first time in my garden after planting Narrow Leaf Milkweed along with native sage plants (back in March). Today I saw a Monarch caterpillar munching on one of the milkweed plants. I was not expecting or even hoping to see either this first season for the plants.
Red, or Cobwebby Thistle (Cirsium occidentale var. occidentale) is a wild plant that is endemic to California. I came across this plant while hiking in late May on Albertson Fire Road between the Lang Ranch trail head and China Flat in Cheseboro.