Comments always are welcome. Thanks to Blaine Mathison at BugGuide.Net for the identification of the beetle: a member of the genus Strigoderma. The flower is Argemone albiflora, the white prickly poppy.
Perhaps this leaf-footed bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus) roaming the remains of a past-its-prime yellow thistle is named Merlin. With the help of his crystal ball, he no doubt has seen the future, and he knows that summer is coming.