Tumbleweed / Tumbleweeds

Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
49,226
Likes
21,569
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#1
Man held hostage in his own home by plague of tumbleweeds

PUBLISHED 18 MARCH 2014 11:41 AM

In the never-ending battle against the unrelenting, unforgiving force that is nature, mankind has a new and frightening enemy: Tumbleweed.

Wilford Ransom woke up one morning last week to find he was trapped in his home by the wiry menace

Though more often represented on screen as a benign and harmless form of plant-life, and most regularly used in fiction as a device to indicate the utter absence of drama, for one elderly man in New Mexico the reverse was very much the case.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 80-year-old Wilford Ransom woke up one morning last week to find he was trapped in his home by a tangle of tumbleweeds 'big enough to surround his 1,600-square-foot house.'

In scenes that The Times of Londondescribes as 'plucked from The Day of the Triffids' (a post-apocalyptic novel, film and TV series about an aggressive species of killer plant), Mr Ransom found himself held hostage by an avalanche of wiry weeds.

The windows of the house were covered and when he attempted to open his front door it would only budge a few inches. In desperation Mr Ransom was forced to call a police emergency hotline, asking to be rescued. The WSJ reports that Mr Ransom was eventually dug out of his property by a neighbour.

"Those Westerns don't do 'em justice," Mr Ransom told the WSJ, of the mild public image associated with the wiry menace, adding: "I don't want to experience anything like that again. It was a little scary."

The disruption associated with tumbleweed has become a serious issue in areas across the southern parts of the United States.

A widespread drought has unleashed a plague of the weeds which are clogging up water canals, blocking roads and burying homes.

According to The Times, in New Mexico the military has been called out to help clear the weeds, while in Colorado roads have had to be cleared by bulldozers.
http://www.independent.ie/world-news/am ... 03054.html
 
Last edited by a moderator:

krakenten

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
503
Likes
19
Points
24
#2
There was an episode of the old 'Outer Limits' TV show that dealt with a tumbleweed attack.

Beware of confabulation!
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
49,226
Likes
21,569
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#3
A fast-growing tumbleweed called "hairy panic" is clogging up homes in a small Australian town.

Extremely dry conditions mean the weeds pile up each day outside a row of homes at Wangaratta, in Victoria's northeast.

Frustrated residents are forced to clear out the weeds for several hours every day, with piles of hairy panic at times reaching roof height.

A nearby farmer is being blamed for failing to tend to his paddock.

"It's physically draining and mentally more draining," resident Pam Twitchett told Prime7 News Albury.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35600546
 

Mungoman

Mostly harmless...
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
2,439
Likes
3,931
Points
159
Location
In the Bush (Peak Hill, NSW)
#4
A fast-growing tumbleweed called "hairy panic" is clogging up homes in a small Australian town.

Extremely dry conditions mean the weeds pile up each day outside a row of homes at Wangaratta, in Victoria's northeast.

Frustrated residents are forced to clear out the weeds for several hours every day, with piles of hairy panic at times reaching roof height.

A nearby farmer is being blamed for failing to tend to his paddock.

"It's physically draining and mentally more draining," resident Pam Twitchett told Prime7 News Albury.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35600546

It's pretty normal this time of the year RM, we have drifts of this native grass that builds up against fences in large amounts. The importance of seed dispersal within all species is the main contributer to this phenomena, and some seasons are more prolific than other seasons - of course conditions must be right, i.e. plenty of spring rain followed by a dry hot summer. Those complaining are mostly recent inhabitants to the Wangaratta area.

To the farmer it's a reasonably nutritious grass of the panicum family, with protein levels ranging up to 20% prior to seed set, making it a reasonable stock feed in moderation and is only detrimental to white skinned stock - sheep and white skinned goats. Other herbage like St Johns wort and pattersons curse have the same photosensitivity effect in white skinned animals.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
49,226
Likes
21,569
Points
284
Location
Eblana
#5
It's pretty normal this time of the year RM, we have drifts of this native grass that builds up against fences in large amounts. The importance of seed dispersal within all species is the main contributer to this phenomena, and some seasons are more prolific than other seasons - of course conditions must be right, i.e. plenty of spring rain followed by a dry hot summer. Those complaining are mostly recent inhabitants to the Wangaratta area.

To the farmer it's a reasonably nutritious grass of the panicum family, with protein levels ranging up to 20% prior to seed set, making it a reasonable stock feed in moderation and is only detrimental to white skinned stock - sheep and white skinned goats. Other herbage like St Johns wort and pattersons curse have the same photosensitivity effect in white skinned animals.
Looked appalling on tv, houses literally drowned in the stuff.

Strewth!
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
14,218
Likes
17,009
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#10
Last edited:

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
14,218
Likes
17,009
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#11
Here's the more detailed local news report ...
SR 240 reopened after tumbleweed shuts down road for over 10 hours

Hundreds of tumbleweed have forced a closure of SR 240 at milepost 10.

Washington Department of Transportation is on scene trying to remove the debris from the road.

WSDOT says 12 miles of the highway are closed because of the tumbleweed.

Troopers are also at the scene helping with traffic control.

We are hearing from witnesses stuck in traffic that several Hanford employees are unable to move because of the tumblweed.

Witnesses say they were experiencing heavy winds Tuesday afternoon.

The strong winds created massive balls of tumblweed that blocked the road preventing cars from driving by.

(Later Update):

The Department of Transportation has cleared SR 240 at milepost 10 after a 10-hour closure.

Crews worked for hours to clear tumbleweed that blocked the highway.

Several motorists were stranded for hours.
SOURCE (With Photo Gallery):
https://keprtv.com/news/local/tumbelweed-close-sr-240-outside-west-richland
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Staff member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
10,506
Likes
11,144
Points
284
Location
An Eochair
#13
wow! I hadn't got the scale of it right at all.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Lord Lucan

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
1,652
Likes
3,952
Points
154
#14
When young, I always thought that tumbleweeds were something out of a Roadrunner cartoon, then I visited Arizona and saw them in person. Quite astounding seeing large ones in action.
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Staff member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
10,506
Likes
11,144
Points
284
Location
An Eochair
#15
When young, I always thought that tumbleweeds were something out of a Roadrunner cartoon, then I visited Arizona and saw them in person. Quite astounding seeing large ones in action.
and also, to my mind, fortean. I just don't expect large sections of vegetation to wander off!
 

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
Staff member
Joined
Jul 19, 2004
Messages
14,218
Likes
17,009
Points
309
Location
Out of Bounds
#17
When young, I always thought that tumbleweeds were something out of a Roadrunner cartoon, then I visited Arizona and saw them in person. Quite astounding seeing large ones in action.
and also, to my mind, fortean. I just don't expect large sections of vegetation to wander off!
Because of their geographic distribution (in relatively arid landscapes) most folks see tumbleweed only as:

- a single type of plant from a distant and unfamiliar landscape and
- the dead "corpse" of this plant (unrelated to the species' life).

Neither of these understandable presumptions is accurate. Tumbleweed is a label that covers a set of diverse species that naturally detach from their root systems and roll away. In addition to the stereotypical tangled bushes there are grasses and even fruits that can wander with the wind.

This wandering isn't just a matter of post-life happenstance - it's the means by which these species disperse their seeds or spores.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumbleweed
 

Frideswide

Fortea Morgana :) PeteByrdie certificated Princess
Staff member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
10,506
Likes
11,144
Points
284
Location
An Eochair
#18
Tumbleweed is a label that covers a set of diverse species that naturally detach from their root systems and roll away. In addition to the stereotypical tangled bushes there are grasses and even fruits that can wander with the wind.

My god! *starts to batten hatches and bar doors.......*
 
Top