A couple of tumbleweeds make their way across the top of a sand dune near Sand Springs in Monument Valley. Round and lightweight, a single tumbleweed can roll for miles, scattering thousands of seeds along the way. Come springtime, a new crop will grow.
A crew removes tumbleweeds the size of compact cars from a slope in East Los Angeles. Bone dry and filled with air pockets, dead weeds can be ignited by a discarded cigarette—a hazard worsened by persistent drought.
Tumbleweeds rolling? Must be a western. The cinematic signal of high plains desolation has an even more pernicious side: it’s an invasive species known as Russian Thistle, and it’s wreaking havoc across the United States. George Johnson is a writer based in Santa Fe, and a regular contributor to National Geographic, where he wrote about fighting the tumbleweed menace in his own backyard. To see more photos click here.
They're the villain cousins of invasive plants... The spiny water flea, the Emerald Ash Borer, the Rusty crayfish and Rocksnot. Each either in New Hampshire or threatening to do so and harming not only the water, plants and land but indigenous animals, plus they have not natural predators. We'll look more closely at these invasive fish, insects and mollusks and what's being done to combat them.
Purple Loosestrife, Autumn Olive, Norway Maple and Multi-flora Rose may sound like plants you'd want in your garden, but actually, they're four of the 423 invasive plants currently in New Hampshire. These non-indigenous weeds, trees and shrubs, grow with a great ferocity strangling and starving the native species. Now some are fighting back against these green villains and making some progress as well. Today we begin a two part series on invasive species in New Hampshire, starting with weeds, trees and other non-native plants.