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Out on the Limb

Tumbleweeds

Friday, May 20, 2005

Second to the venus fly trap, tumbleweeds are my favorite plant. I don't particular want to live amongst a flock of tumbleweeds, but they fascinate me.

{ insert mental image of large tumbleweeds HERE / Flickr is down for maintenance }

Those brown balls of weed...tumbling weed...aren't necessarily dead. They just look that way. Tumbleweeds blow around and at some point come to rest upon a patch of soil that is wet with rain. Then they send out a few roots with strict instructions not to return until they have hydrated the mother plant.

In some ways, my husband and I are like tumbleweeds. We have been resting in this corner of the world for many years. Nevertheless, our roots have remained shallow, only going to depths necessary for maintaining life. We are not the types to generate large tap roots. Sometimes one of use shouts ROAD TRIP!!...and we throw a few things together and GO....with no particular plan.

Until now, I had not realized anyone harvested and sold tumbleweeds. Something here saddens me.

I recall a story I heard about a tiny plant in a museum. The plant looked like a stick....a very old dry dead broken stick; and it resided in a glass box. The sign beside the stick said that every 5 years the stick sends out a shoot in search of water. And every 5 years the plant did indeed send out the green shoot...to the amazement of those who gathered to watch this miracle of life. This went on for decades. Then it stopped. No-one had ever thought to give it water.
posted by Deb, 7:44 PM

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