My Practical Present


For my birthday in May, I got the thistle digger I have wanted since last summer when I allowed some thistles to grow out of hand – to the delight of several goldfinches and the hardship of the neighborhood kids whose barefeet step carefully in our yard.

Since then I’ve been scouting the yard with my “Weed Hound,” it’s called, popping every bristly, thistly piece of lawn I can find. The trick is to find them when they are small and the tines of my nifty, new tool can grasp the stems easily. After they get bigger, you have to tear at them, only pulling a piece at a time.

Today, I spotted a large thistle by the corner of the house. Somehow it was left undiscovered until now, with all the rain we’ve had, it is beyond the capabilities of the weeder. I wistfully picture the purple, brushlike blooms that I love to look at, but I know soon after, the seeds will fly and more prickles will prevail. I’ll probably have to get out a small saw – sorry finches!

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