Bull Thistle

I know this stuff is a nuisance to most people.  In fact, when I was in college, I worked as a lifeguard at the Cook Forest State Park swimming pool (which I believe is gone now, sadly…my Mom worked there eons before I did).  There was a ton of fun to be had as a lifeguard and the forest itself was beautiful.  If you ever need a place to visit in PA, consider Cook Forest.

Anyhow, the superintendent at the park hated bull thistle.  The pool opened on Memorial Day each year and in PA (at least then), it could still be quite cool.  They also filled the pool from a deep well which ran about 50 degrees…it took awhile to be swimmable even if the air was warmer.  So, when we had really cool days, the chief would come by and send some of us out to rid the park of all bull thistle.  I hated that job and at that time, I vowed to never view thistle as an enemy again (at least not until I have power equipment to deal with it).  You see, we cut it by hand then and it was not an amusing pastime.

Bull thistle with a buble bee on it Bull thistle with a honey bee on it

Bull thistle with a butterfly on it Bull thistle

Bull thistle  Bull thistle

All of these pictures were taken at our place and the thistle are pretty rampant.  All sorts of insects love them though and I have no strong urge to deal with the thistle so, for now, they will remain an insect paradise and a great source of late summer color!

7 thoughts on “Bull Thistle

  1. Caprilis – I sure hope so! The bees were all over it for sure…and obviously the other insects liked to too…I love the stuff visually but…

  2. I think Thistles are pretty, too. The good thing about them—they have very shallow roots. If you want to be rid of them, a weed popper is a fine tool to do the job.

  3. The CF pool is still in existance, but has been closed since the 2010 season. Last renovated in 2006, but due to budgetary cuts, it will probably soon fall into disrepair (like the rest of the park). The pool needs a new underwriter, since the state claims it operated at a loss for many years. Instead of the handicap lift they installed, perhaps they should have invested in a solar cover, or solar heating system to increase patronage. Too bad there’s no Cook Forest Association to save the pool for future generations, like they did in the 20s. These people had the forsight to save the forest for our genereation.

  4. RichS – That is too bad that the pool is not going well. It’s been around for a long time and I had a ton of fun there. I guess things happen but CF is such a beautiful place and it would be such a shame if the place isn’t open to be enjoyed by folks…

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