As Va's COOL summer moves on (HOORAY!!) I don't have many excuses for not patrollin them ditches. I can't recall a summer when its actually been nice (by my standards :o) in decades.
Couple of fines the last couple days. One really cute and one not (but it smells real good!)
Bull Thistle or maybe Pasture Thistle, one of about 9 species in the east. Most grow in dry, waste places, ditches (is there anywhere else! :o) pastures, roadsides. etc. Most have formidable, razor sharp spines that will sure 'nuff ruin your day if you're careless with them. I generally handle and position them with spring clamps to avoid touching them. Most are fragrant and a magnet to insects and especially Butterflies.
This tiny little guy is Spiked Lobelia or Palespike Lobelia (Lobelia spicata to you science buffs). Could key it to family but about gave up trying to key it out further when I hit upon it by accident.
Another in our inexhaustible supply of roadside weeds. A real challenge to even find in my viewfinder, this was all the magnification I could get with what I had with me.