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Well, we 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, doesn't it?

 

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Rawhide Gifts and Gallery
1004 East P ST
Torrington, Wyoming 82240

307-534-5176  (cell/voicemail)
info @ rawhidestudios.com

Online since 1999