By W.R. Jones
The spot of yellow in this Idaho study coupled with the recent fire storms we are having in California triggered a memory of one of my multitude of extremely stupid ideas. Also at work bringing back this particular memory was seeing a field of growing tumbleweeds on my way home last night.
Tumbleweeds have been mentioned in a least one old western (as in the western or “cowboy” part of the US) song. They sound rather romantic in that song. In real life they are a miserable plant, a plant version of a mosquito. They grow into large round balls and in the fall they turn brown with brittle branches. Their shallow roots break off and any wind takes these big balls everywhere.
Years ago every fall we would have a large number of these plants blow over our wooden fence and get stuck in our back yard. They were a real pain to remove. They were so big and prickly that breaking them down to place in a trash container brought out my tendency towards bad language.
One fall I came up with a new plan, pay attention here – you are about to read of uncommon stupidity, I would pour gasoline on the plants and burn them. They are mostly dried twigs in a ball form so they would burn rapidly and leave a small pile of ashes.
They did burn rapidly. However, they are so light, the slightest puff of wind starts them tumbling – hence the name tumbleweeds. Directly after lighting them, a slight breeze blew them against our wooden fence which, wouldn’t you know, started burning along with the weeds. The men from the fire department were astounded at my ignorance. They were not even slightly amused at my bumbling foolishness and I think I narrowly avoided being fined.
In another note – here is Paco. Owned by Miki, I thought we could breed Paco and Ramona and get a little herd started. I worried a bit; Paco doesn’t look like he would be very gentle with her. When I got the estimate for shipping Paco here for the big event – somehow the invoice showed Paco, Miki, and Kev coming on a luxury liner, I decided to have Miki email me a jar of Paco’s semen and do an artificial insemination. As soon as I finish this I’m going on the web to learn the technique; doesn’t seem like it could be that hard.