Your photograph makes me just a bit homesick,
There's nothing more fun than setting fire to a
great pile of Tumbleweeds. They practically explode. Gathering up a
bunch and setting them over into the fire as it dies down has singed many an
eyebrow and made a jacket smell like a hot steam iron had just gone over
it. --One does not wear polyester doing this job.
More than one fenceline has collapsed from a drift
of tumbleweeds catching on the barbed wire. The wind pressure on the
accumulated mass exceeds the strength of the split black locust or western
Juniper fence posts often used--both incredibly strong woods.
These pesky weeds do have an ecological asset,
however, as their tap root goes deep and brings much needed micronutrients to
the surface. These accumulate both under the weed as it sheds its tiny,
transient leaves, and then later in the areas where the tumbler finally
comes to rest and disintegrates or is burned.
The skin burns and stings from the oils in the
plant when one tries to handle it. The very sharp, small spines at the
leaf-node scars cause one to dress well and take great care in handling the dang
Neil Mogensen z 7 western NC mountains, but
born and raised in country much like that shown in the photo on the
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