Monday, April 11, 2011

Taos A to Z Excerpt: Tumbleweed

The above-ground part of a plant that has died, separates from the root and tumbles away in the wind, tumbleweeds are an icon of the Old West. Usually, the tumbleweed is the entire plant apart from the roots, but in a few species it is a flower cluster. As the tumbleweed is blown around, it disperses its seed. This is most common in desert areas. ~Aimee

If you live in New Mexico and really love the land and the overall environment that is so special to this place, then you will have a fondness for the humble tumbleweed. To me, these dead, sometimes sprigly remnants of sagebrush plants almost sum up the rugged, rustic style that is so honest and true about the Southwest. We love it when tumbleweeds sometimes make their way across our front yard as we just sit and watch. One summer day, my cousin and I saw a spectacular demonstration of nature as it is in New Mexico: a giant whirlwind (or “dust devil”) blew over the right side of our property and within it, swirling high in the air, were about two dozen tumbleweeds. It was fascinating and somewhat breathtaking in its display. Seeing this made me stop and have a little silent moment and inward word of respect to nature and its boundless expressions of something that is so truly larger than myself. ~Jean

A Bit of Tumbleweed Movie Trivia: In the film "Connagher," Katherine Ross is a widow living in the Old West, who is so lonely, she attaches notes and bits of poetry to tumbleweeds. Many of them are found and collected by Sam Elliott, an acquaintance of hers. Unbeknownst to them both, they fall in love with each other through their interaction, as well as through the notes. ~Aimee

Read more about Taos, Santa Fe, and Northern New Mexico on Taos A to Z

No comments:

Post a Comment