January 10, 2014

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Photograph by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, National Geographic

Skeletons of Russian thistle, better known as tumbleweed, pile up in a yard in Lancaster, California.

See more pictures from the January 2014 feature story “The Weed That Won the West.”


See this and other photographs from our list of favorites from 2013 »

17 comments
Alyssa Blazi
Alyssa Blazi

The boldness of the grass and sky surrounded by dull colors really makes the picture POP!

Sher Khan
Sher Khan

The grass the climate the sky - All so fresh and lively

Traci Wilkinson
Traci Wilkinson

My first thought was Palmdale/Lancaster! Those things can really scratch your car in a windstorm. We used to build forts and "snowmen" with them as kids.

Nolly Lim
Nolly Lim

I dont have it in my country, Thailand.  I guess the name "Tumble Weeds" derived from the way its rolled up into a ball-like by the wind.  I must be wrong, but it is only a guess from someone who has not seen its before.

Anthony Baruch
Anthony Baruch

The reason tumbleweed is probably in there backyard is because the location. I live in Carmel Valley in San Diego, It is 3-5 miles inland from the beach. But the environment is chaparral. Like 15 years ago, before the houses started getting built, it was just all dirt and chaparral and lots of tumbleweed. We'd always get loads of it on our street for the first couple years because everything surrounding us was either dirt or plants. 

Janice H.
Janice H.

Oh I love, this.    Tumbleweeds are a fascinating part of nature's botanical assortment of growing things.    They are a phenomena.        This is an awesome photograph that is unique to only certain areas of the country which makes it special!

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

My goodness what a photograph! Crystal clear, with those tumbleweeds banked up against a wall and the green grass contrasting so well. In the foreground one more of them, with the lil' man made barrow kinda  making it all complete. Like it lots. j.e.s. 

isaiah wiggins
isaiah wiggins

this picture is so country only if the tumbleweeds wher flying across the landscape

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