We had our first significant T.E. (Tumbleweed Event) of the season last week. It was actually rather mild compared to the springtime varieties, where the prickly beasties have been known to knock semis off the interstate and dig deep gouges in concrete streets*, but it was still good/bad enough to be a topic of conversation at a dinner party the next evening.
Almost everyone had a tumbleweed story, except for the poor couple who lives in the Texas Hill Country and thus has only heard rumors and scary tales around the campfire. Most of the stories involved out-of-state tourists with an inexplicable fascination with tumbleweeds, to the extent that most of us had actually spotted them inside said tourists' cars, presumably being transported back to New Jersey or Massachusetts for some kind of show-and-tell about surviving the Old West.
Most of the dinner party guests who had lived in Midland for a couple of decades or more also had stories of finding tumbleweeds piled practically to the eaves of the house or blocking their garages after some particularly nasty storms. One man described how his wife cried for a year after they moved to Midland after getting married and she discovered the havoc the winds can wreak around here. And, of course, we here at Casa Fire Ant have experienced that disquieting predicament ourselves (the tumbleweeds and dust, not the crying for a year. Ours was no more than three months.).
Anyway, our neighborhood experiences a phenomenon when the weeds tumble unlike most others in the area, because we have a couple of ponds. The combination of tumbleweeds and water is somehow even more depressing than having them pile up in your yard, except for the fact that someone else has to clean out the ponds.
I took a few photos after last week's T.E.
I wonder if the migrating ducks were perplexed by the stickery things floating in their temporary rest stop?
Our resident geese are, however, unfazed...jaded...or simply clueless. They're geese. What do you expect?
The dock doubled as an effective weed sieve.
The answer to the age-old question of whether tumbleweeds float is, apparently, "sort of."
The 45-mph winds blew tumbleweeds into a mass close to the bank of the pond; this was just the beginning.
Living on the outskirts of town has its advantages, but being a drag strip for tumbleweeds isn't one of them.
*These are obvious exaggerations. All of our roadways are asphalt.