The annual Tumbleweed Season has officially started
As I write this article I am listening to the Sons of the Pioneers and their rendition of the great song Tumbling Tumbleweeds. Although the song takes me back to my childhood the traveling spiny skeletal remains of a plant is less than nostalgic.
According to Wikipedia, the tumbleweed is:
"A tumbleweed is a structural part of the above-ground anatomy of a number of species of plants. It is a diaspore that, once mature and dry, detaches from its root or stem and rolls due to the force of the wind. In most such species, the tumbleweed is in effect the entire plant apart from the root system, but in other plants, a hollow fruit or inflorescence might detach instead. Xerophyte tumbleweed species occur most commonly in steppe and arid ecosystems, where frequent wind and the open environment permit rolling without prohibitive obstruction."
Tumbleweeds come from many different plants and can be most commonly seen blowing across the road in the country or stuck in almost every fence outside of town. If enough tumbleweeds accumulate in a fence, the fence itself can be damaged on a windy day.
Tumbleweeds like to gather and stick together as seen in this tumbleweed monster I found in my back yard a couple of years ago:
Fortunately no one was seriously hurt outside of a few scratches from removing the pile. Although they can be disposed of by burning, it is not recommended as they are highly flammable and typically found in the wind. After doing some research I found that some people sell their tumbleweeds on ebay for a nice profit. In one ebay ad a large authentic tumbleweed 16-20" by Utah Western Decor is going for $64 plus shipping and handling. As I look back at the monster in my backyard, I might be able to retire just by selling the weed. If you are in the market to purchase one for decor, I will make you a great deal- send me a an email at firstname.lastname@example.org