Tumbleweed troubles for several homes in northwest Bismarck

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Dry conditions and high winds have led to a tumbleweed invasion around numerous homes in northwest Bismarck.

The brown bushes have been rolling into yards, doorways, driveways and spaces between homes. Once they lodge against a building or object, they act like a snow fence, capturing and holding other tumbleweeds blown in by the wind.

Soon, as this submitted video from Thursday morning shows, a sea of dry shrubs has taken over the landscape.

The question is, who is responsible for getting rid of the rolling stick collection? The homeowner or the city? If it’s on your property, it probably is the homeowner’s problem.

Northwest Bismarck Thursday morning.

Tumbleweeds, by the way, figure prominently in pop culture.

An “Outer Limits” sci-fi TV series episode from 1964 focused on tumbleweeds that were killing people.

A song called “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” became quite popular through the group Sons Of The Pioneers and western dinger gene Autry. In fact, the tune was named one of the Top 100 Western Songs Of All-Time by the Western Writers of America association.

What is tumbleweed made of? In general, it is the skeleton of a Russian thistle, so named because immigrants from Russia and eastern Europe brought it to America in the seeds for wheat and other crops. Part of its scientific name — Salsola — comes from the Latin word for “salt,” something the thistle has a high tolerance for, apparently.

Tumbleweeds clog up lawns, doorways in Northwest Bismarck. Thursday morning.

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