That Lucky Thistle

I don’t really like to see weeds grow up under the feet of the cows, so this is one lucky thistle. It’s under the electric fence wire, and beside one of the stakes, so when I was clipping that pasture in July, I obviously missed it or just couldn’t reach into it.

So there it was yesterday, and I was trying to get a picture of some autumn flowers, and this even though it’s a weed, is still a flower. At the time I hadn’t noticed that there were half a dozen winged insects on it until I went a little closer, and then the spiders web too.

Even though it is a weed, it’s supporting some other form of life at this time of year when food is getting scarce for these bees. These flowers are a precious resource, and of course a spider has realised this and set up it’s web around the best parts to claim it’s prize also.

Note: The detail of the picture is best seen if you click on the above picture, which will take you through to a larger size.

Note 2: I don’t use any sprays to kill thistles, I wait until a wet day in July, until they have become big and strong, and cut the stem so the hole inside the stem is exposed to the sky. If the rainwater manages to get in there, it will rot the plant to the roots, and kill it properly. It is a nice trick, and works well here, such that we have very few thistles … except this one and a few more hiding out in the shadows.

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2 comments so far

  1. Laurie on

    would a thistle tear up the inside of a cow’s mouth the way it tears up the inside of my hand?

  2. rough hands on

    It probably would … but the cows always turn their noses up at them and will not touch them. They’ll eat the grass around the base of the thistle but leave the weed standing. They don’t like walking through them much either, and will walk around them if at all possible.


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