used to sell tumbleweeds, but we don't anymore, The truth
is, these things get big, but they are very light. And
because they are so big, they require a large box. However,
that large box takes up a large space, albeit FexEx or UPS.
And both of those shippers are going to charge big bucks for
that space which means it's just not feasible for us to
ship. So, we just decided to tell you a bit about the lowly
tumbleweed instead. A bit about our interesting 'pest' and
how it got here.
We live with it on a
regular basis but people who travel to our state, or other
prairie states, wonder just what in the world they are. It's
fascinating to watch the darned things roll across prairies
and highways when the wind blows in the fall and winter.
Guests to our native state of Wyoming naturally wonder what
in the dickens they are trying to dodge on the highway!
If it's small, it's
not a major problem, but sometimes, these things will
collide and really grow quite a mass, rolling across a
highway sometimes doing a bit of damage to a small or medium
car or irritating a driver by mucking up the undercarriage
of a vehicle. To the farmer or the rancher, it's a pain in
the woo-hoo to remove these you-know-what's from the fence
line either spring or fall as they can easily gather quite a
bit of weight which can then gather more snow, additional
brush (you get the idea) etc. and then bring a fence line
down. Not a rancher's best friend!
Where did these little
jewels come from? Originally Mongolia, believe it or not.
They are called the Russian Thistle and apparently, like
many other seeds and insects, hitched a ride on some grain
and then a ship headed to the U.S. bringing these little
sweethearts to us. The rest is history.
The plant seems to
like dry and arid conditions. It's a prickly kind of plant
and thrives in poor soil conditions, but I've also seen it
grow in pastures, where it's not supposed to grow (like in
cultivated ground and flower gardens!), roadsides etc. It
starts off dark green and kind of pretty, actually, but soon
as the summer turns to fall, it gets dry and woody. The
plant is approximately 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall and round but
I've seem them much larger or smaller. They are round in
shape, and when they dry up, they break off. Because of our
windy plains, they tend to roll with the wind, (hence the
tumbleweed name) and unfortunately distribute their seeds
wherever they go as the roll along!
Now you know the
history of the tumbleweed....Makes you think of the old
1930's song Drifting Along with the Tumbling Tumbleweeds,