They came out of the south, beginning their assault on the senses at mid-
morning. The wailing of the wind called thousands of them into action. Tumbleweeds folks! Russian thistles that were brought into this land of high desert by immigrants crossing the plains in a past century.
They came in all sizes, as small as grapefruits, as big as bowling balls, basketballs, and beach balls. They rolled relentlessly, rapidly, and recklessly, and in a riotous manner, leaping, flying, furiously throwing themselves at anything and anyone in their paths.
Dust and sand accompanied them, thrown up in clouds dense enough to block out one’s vision of the surrounding mountains, slamming into homes, vehicles, sheds, and fences of all kinds. A wooden post fence laid flat by the force of hundred of tumbleweeds pressing against it with the help of a wild, wailing wind. A steel-pipe fence strained under the same pressure by ten-fold that number, piled five-feet high and just as deep, appearing dense enough to be built of dry-stacked stones.
As I attempted to unhook the closed gate to my property, the gale pushing against the accumulated tumbleweeds on the other side fought my efforts to the point that I had to thrust my shoulder against the metal to release the tension on the chain. It came open and backed me up in my tracks, and then the onslaught of round, dried weeds began, rushing up against me threatening to engulf me. I fought against them folks, grabbing at them, suffering the sting of their prickly tentacles on the front and back of my hands and lower arms.
I regained my balance and my Kenpo karate training came to life. I kicked them, side-kicks, spinning back-kicks, breaking some into pieces, and the pieces came at me, flying up in my face with evil intent. I changed direction with my kicks, and the wounded flew down wind, and I made my break for the pickup, slamming the door behind me, and shuddering from the ferocity of the attack.
Death had come calling on the high-mountain prairie, . . and was thwarted!
* * * *
Special thanks to photobucket.com