While out for a drive…

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bull thistles

Wild Artichoke Thistle

"Sure, they look pretty now......!"

As I was driving through a section of the California Pacific foot hills, I came across an area covered with these thistles. They look something like the Bull Thistles that you see here in the valley, but with more colorful and luxuriant flowers. A little research showed that they are Wild Artichoke Thistles introduced here from Australia.

Bull Thistles and More

photo of a pile of dried thistles

This is one big pile of Bull thistles!

This pile of Bull thistles just keeps getting bigger, and I’m not even half done yet. I want to get this done so that we can water the area and get the thistles to germinate so that they can be sprayed. I don’t want to have to deal with these seven foot thistles again next year; this will make a nice wildlife area without them.
As I’ve been cleaning them out I’ve found several patches of poison oak; but I’ve sprayed it and it seems to be drying and under control.

Thistles and more Thistles

Ok, here I am at Sarge’s Cache Creek ranch and the thistles are just out of control. They’re dry, thorny, and some are like seven foot tall. We didn’t mow or spray¬†them earlier when they were green because the Wild Turkeys were thought to be nesting in the area. But now it’s payback time: this is a lot of work! I hope that it was productive for the turkeys.

"Harvesting" the Bull Thistles!

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