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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Windy Season And Tumbleweeds!



Now that the winds have begun, it is time for those tumblin' tumbleweeds. Dodged a few in my car coming home from the gym today. Tumbleweeds are not native to the american west, but are actually russian thistle plants that were brought to the US via grain sacks from mongolia. They grow especially well in New Mexico where the soil is sandy and the sun shines so much. They grow shallowly, but very large during spring and summer. Then as they dry out in the fall and winter, they await the winds of spring to get blown all to hell. As much as I hate them, they are a 2ndary nuisance to those freakin' goatheads. Goatheads are another wonderful hazard of New Mexico that is not native. They are called puncturevines, and they came from the Mediterranean region. The little bastard thorns were stuck to livestock that were imported here. They are small green plants that are also unbelievable prolific. They grow close to the ground, and can grow in every rocky crappy soil imaginable. Also in the fall, they dry out, and from october on, the dried seed pods (goathead thorns) stick in everything. Each pod has 3 to 5 sharp short thorn heads, so no matter how you step on them, they embed in your shoes. That is why I am limited to running shoes with no air or gel material, and why everyone bikes with kevlar tires on their bikes. After most runs on trails, I spend a while with one of Deb's eyebrow pullers, removing all the goatheads from the soles of my shoes. Anyway, windy season has begun, and the next 10 days have forecasts of 25 to 50 MPH winds pretty steadily. Gonna just have to stay on that damn treadmill a while longer....

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