Salsola Pestifera

I hate frickin’ tumbleweeds.

It’s mid-autumn, which means cool nights and warm days. The monsoon – a fairly wet one this year – has pretty much gone away. Which means the tumbleweeds are mature, and oh, we got us a bumper crop.

Tumbleweeds only seem to grow in any profusion where the ground’s been broken up, like if you dug a septic pit or tore up ground for a building foundation – All things that have happened a lot, here and there on the property. Each seed has a wicked little thorn, and the seeds start falling off before the plants die and break off. Which means walking anywhere but virgin ground or really packed-down trails is like walking on a carpet of caltrops. No big deal on shod feet unless your soles are really worn out, but it’s hell on the dogs. No day goes by that I don’t have a couple of three-legged dogs hobbling about and looking miserable. Poor Ghost must have picked up dozens of them and his pads are getting really tender. Crossing hard-pack, he looks like an old guy mincing across hot beach sand.

It happens every year, but as with so many things it’s worse some years than others. This has been the summer of the housefly, weevil, and tumbleweed. Next year I’m looking forward to unicorns, Skittle showers, and chocolate toads.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Salsola Pestifera

  1. You so seriously burst my bubble. I have always loved tumble weeds. I just didn’t know they had stickers. Will you shake one out and mail it to me?

  2. Grumpy EMT says:

    They are getting to monster size here in the northwestern corner of AZ. Hit one with the car that was as high as the mirrors.

  3. I now know hat you are talking about, from hard experience. They call those seeds Goats heads up here and I made the mistake of walking out of my girlfriends place to my truck at night, bare foot.
    Jesus Christ, I had a dozen of them stuck in my feet before I got back in the house!
    They pop bicycle tires, basket balls and anything else you can think of. Evil little bastards.

  4. Some see lemons, others see lemonade.

    http://prairietumbleweedfarm.com/

    This woman needed to make up a mock site for her computer class, she decided to make up a site that sells the bane of her existence, the hated Tumbleweeds. A weird twist: she started getting orders almost overnight and now is a full time tumbleweed farmer and exporter to the world of the menace.

  5. MamaLiberty says:

    There’s a big difference between tumbleweeds and goathead weed. Size mostly…

    Not much tumbleweed here and I’ve not seen any goathead… but I’ll trade you some for all the grasshoppers we’ve got. 🙂

    We all have our crosses to bear.

  6. See! You are sitting on a gold mine!

To the stake with the heretic!