July 31, 2003

Bad idea

If you have a choice when walking in your front yard at 2am in bare feet helping visiting family members to unload their car I would strongly recommend that you not step on one of these. Ouch.
Posted by jeffy at July 31, 2003 01:39 PM

It is not well recorded in literature, but thistle
spines are more than just passive "stickers". They
appear to have a chemical attack that starts up
within half an hour of the initial physical attack.

You get pricked, okay, and it hurts. And then,
it starts to sting in a way that cactus spines do
not. And the spines are brittle, and they break
off easily, and they are light colored, so they
are difficult to remove. And they are
fantastically sharp and pointy.

I hate them.

Posted by: Dan L at August 2, 2003 11:18 AM

You said it!

I spent the weekend hobbling around picturing the embedded spine that was giving me excrutiating pain digging deeper into my foot.

This morning I finally was able to see a slightly off-color spot at the point where the pain was. Under a magnifying glass I could see there was a foreign object there, but I couldn't feel anything on the surface. Picked at it with a needle and then squeezed the flesh around the entry point and the butt-end popped right out where I could grab it with a tweezer.

The thing felt like it was sticking a half an inch into my foot, but the extracted point (so sharp it made my needle look blunt) wasn't more than 3mm long.

The pain in my foot was gone like it never was as soon as the spine came out. Whew!

Thanks for the tip about the spine coloration, Dan. I was looking for something dark and this decidedly wasn't.

That plant is coming out of my yard. Yes indeed.

Posted by: Jeff Youngstrom at August 4, 2003 02:14 PM
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