seek a knot in a bulrush

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seek a knot in a bulrush

To engage in a futile task; to try to find problems where none exist. A bulrush is a grassy plant that is not prone to knots. You'd have better luck seeking a knot in a bulrush than getting those flowers to grow on such rocky soil. I read the report so many times that the boss will be seeking a knot in a bulrush to try to find errors in it.
See also: knot, seek
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Tiny, 3-month-old Moses lies in his basket of papyrus and pitch, resting in the bulrushes, just at the point of discovery.
Most of the refuge's wetlands are dominated by the three-square bulrush, a plant that grows as tall as three feet and is relished by animals from muskrats to ducks and geese.
Barney, the native, however soon set me right by taking up the root of a large reed or bulrush which grew in a dry lagoon hard by, and by shewing me how the natives extracted from the rhizoma a quantity of gluten.
This drainage and its attendant cienega support Olney Bulrush (Scirpus olneyi), cattails (Typha sp.), sedges (Cyperus sp.), bulrush (Scirpus sp.), and Common Reed (Phragmites australis).
ENTERTAINMENT John Craven (left) harvests bulrush, Matt Baker finds the best cuts of meat for a barbecue and Naomi Wilkinson punts along the river Cam in Cambridge in this special seasonal edition.
After getting permission to a private 200-acre marsh interspersed with bulrush and cattail, we set an assortment of floaters within 25 yards of our hide, some emergent vegetation, and were ready for the ducks by mid-afternoon.
Dow a]so put in alkali bulrush to keep down the wave action.
But that does not mean that the ability of the pork strip design to catch mega-bass has ended; in fact, at the right time of year--February through April--and in the right places--lily pad fields and bulrush flats among others--there's not much short of a live shiner that gives you a better shot at putting a trophy-class Florida largemouth in the boat than hanging one of these big, squirmy trailers on a weedless spoon.
- Nida, by email CAROL: I am sorry to say it is a wild bulrush. It is very invasive and you should get rid of it before it punctures the lining of your pond.
A band of vegetation made up of maidencane, cypress, spatterdock, and bulrush grows along the shoreline.
And the next land he found, it was low and hollow ground - Where once the cities stood, But the man-high thistle had been master of it all, Or the bulrush by the ood.
I usually target wetlands with a good bulrush or cattail fringe and set up on the upwind shoreline.
Reed mace (often referred to bulrush) found in ponds, lakes and marshy areas is another useful plant due to its high starch content.