In Praise of Scotch Thistles

B.C. Hydro, our provincial power provider, is a responsible citizen, and poisoned these invasive thistles last year.


It’s the regulation. One wants to protect cattle range from inedible weeds. The thistles responded by coming back tenfold.

They are doing well.

Very well.

Perhaps we should all just accept that the glory days of ranching are over in these parts, which they are…

Slim Pickings

…and provide a home for the last remaining insects of the rich syilx grasslands (here on one of the few surviving native thistles) …

…that were here before the cattle ate everything else down to nothing. This looks like a good start, don’t you think?

We should do this out of respect.

And love.

2 replies »

  1. Hi Harold
    I enjoy reading your blog, as you often have a very different view of what’s going on in our environment. As a person raised in England and then the west coast, my “retirement “ in the Okanagan has been a continual learning of what will grow with little water and with flower and veggies munching deer, in my area.

    One of the first little guide books I acquired from Allen Brooks Nature Centre was Field Guide to Noxious Weeds and Other Selected Invasive Plants of British Columbia (first printed in 1996). Incidentally The ABNC have many volunteers who try valiantly to remove many of these noxious weeds from the Centre’s grasslands, especially the prickly Russian Knapweed.

    So, after reading your blog, I realize that the little book of noxious weeds, was meant for farmers, ranchers and those who want to profit from the dwindling wild area of grasslands. The Scotch thistle is one of these. However, I would rather not have cleaver, burdock, thistles taking over my veggies and flower beds (seeded from my wild neighborhood).

    So I weed and my husband “Captain Chemical” sprays! What a dilemma!


    The other problem with these


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