Photos on the journey #459


Ah, the signature plant of West Texas. There is probably no other weed, other than perhaps the dandelion, that has been paid so much attention.

I found that the tumbleweed has been used as the name for: bars, saloons, songs, movies, a comic strip, dance halls, newspapers, people’s name, commercial farm, a gymnastic club, musical group, restaurants, youth center, bookstore, and the title of a book. There is even a heath center in Arizona named after the tumbleweed albeit defined as “Arizona’s Premier Medical Cannabis Education Center” so perhaps it is a “twist” on the name.

Honest to God, as a child growing up in west Texas, my parents gathered them, painted them gold ,silver, green or red, then piled them pyramid stye in a corner of the house, hung decorations on them and we called it  a “Christmas” tree. I thought we were just innovative, not poor.

They were either a cause or a product of the dust bowl. The saddest use I heard was in the Ken Burn’s documentary on the Dust Bowl. An older lady described that while growing up on a farm trying to eek out life in the bowl, she and her sister were given the painful task of gathering the weeds and then with their bare feet having to crush them for use as fodder for beast and family. Now, that was someone who was indeed poor, innovative and desperate.

Peaceout †††en theos ††† jlawrence

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