Thistles. Ouch.

“I suppose none of you is sitting on a thistle by any chance?”
“It doesn’t do them any Good, you know, sitting on them,”

— Eeyore

The star thistle looks rather nice. A little yellow flower. We’ve got two species on our trails, they look almost exactly alike — except that one is twice as big as the other.

And each flower is surrounded by sharp spines.

They aren’t native to California.

But they like it here.

In the summer they encroach on certain trails, especially in the back-country. Encroach, until there is no trail, just a nest of thistles.

It’s like running through a bed of needles. The little ones attack me from the knees to the toes, and the big ones from the hands to the knees. Somehow they have worked out how to poke through shoes and under toenails. My legs are coated with pin-pricks of blood and slashes. The hands do not escape either, every now and then a needle will stab me in the fingers. And somehow (I’ve no idea how) my shoulders are slashed. The plants aren’t that tall, but they managed it.



2 Responses to “Thistles. Ouch.”

  1. Scott Kozak Says:


    I was referred to you by several Santa Barbara runners. I am in the process of training for the Chicago Marathon – and my training schedule is for me to run 15 miles on Friday or Saturday this week at a 10.00 pace. I live in Colorado but will be in Santa Barbara this week and am trying to locate a group who may already be scheduled for a long run or a person who may be interested in joining me. I also need to get advice on a 15 mile route in Santa Barbara.

    Any help would be appreciated.


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