Where the Tumbleweeds Tumble…

This is Russian Thistle growing about two miles away from us.

This is Russian Thistle growing about two miles away from us.


Here on the Colorado prairie is certainly where the tumbleweeds tumble.

So what is a tumbleweed?  you may ask. A tumbleweed is usually Russian thistle, an invasive plant that has overtaken areas of the American west.  It dries out in the fall, becoming almost woody.  Then when the wind blows, the tumbleweed breaks off and tumbles everywhere, spreading its seed and reeking havoc.  They will get stuck in fences, against house, etc. They are also a fire hazard.

These are typical tumbleweeds stuck in a fence.   That's Pikes Peak in the background, 2011.

These are typical tumbleweeds stuck in a fence.
That’s Pikes Peak in the background, 2011.

During the 2013 summer season, conditions were very favorable for the Russian thistle.  Russian thistle grew taller, fatter and more plentiful than usual.  This winter and spring, we have a huge tumbleweed problem.  This means that there are tumbleweeds tumbling everywhere and being even more than a nuisance than normal.


Help! We’re stuck!
This was Christmas Day 2013!
We were just about stuck in!

This spring (2014) is proving to be more work than usual.  Before one begins anything, one must first dig out…


I’ve linked this to the Prairie Homestead’s Barn Hop 153.



Posted in A Day In the Life, Weeds by with 4 comments.


  • Gentle Joy says:

    As a kid, I LOVED tumbleweeds – because they were on westerns and around cowboys and all that……As an adult, it is still a novelty, and yet, I know the havoc that such things can wreak also and I hope you can get them all dealt with soon…… Thank you for posting this.

  • kateri says:

    Interesting. I have this romantic version of tumbleweeds in my head. I’ve never seen one in real life and never considered that they could be invasive and damaging.

    • Laura says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Kateri! Tumbleweeds are a nuisance. I think I’ll write another post about them explaining more…
      I wonder if the tumbleweeds would make a good basket weaving material. It seems they might. I’ll add that to my list to try, after I try that yucca…

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