Beau September 24th, 2007
Rain is coming this week, so catching up on grass cutting and trimming has been a priority. The leaves are just beginning to change color in various species, and it’s a good time to plan how the landscape will be shaped over fall and winter. I found a surprise today growing near the field, close to the roadside. It was a Cocklebur plant, Xanthium strumarium.
Not a nice plant, the Cocklebur… the burs are a tremendous annoyance, and if you find yourself in a field of Cockleburs you can hardly get the little devils off your clothing. If your dog gets a Cocklebur in its coat, chances are you’ll have to cut it out with scissors as it works its way deeply toward the skin. And the plant itself is toxic! I once found myself in a field of Cockleburs while hunting in the early light of dawn; I had wandered into the field inadvertently, and ended up walking through acres and acres of the pokey things. That was truly awful.
So I was literally shocked today to see the plant growing here, and the burs almost completely grown! I suspect it arrived via some bur seeds falling off a passing truck at some point over the past year. We have many farm vehicles that travel the road heavily throughout the year. There were actually two plants, and I dug them both up- roots and all, and put them in a plastic bag for disposal. I kept one of the burs and we had a good lesson topic at dinner tonight. And they are kind of interesting… But hopefully there will be no more Cocklebur plants at Fox Haven!