A mild winter and a dry start to spring has led to a tumbleweed takeover. The southwestern staple is starting to pop up all around and residents are starting to notice.
It’s happening all over the city, and in the South Valley tumbleweeds have nearly reached the roof at a medical center.
Wednesday morning landscape crews trekked from the building covered in tumbleweeds to a dumpster trying to get rid of the dead plants.
“I definitely notice them more this time of year. When they are blowing around and the winds are high,” said Albuquerque resident Henry Dumars.
Meanwhile, across town up at Albuquerque Academy, a similar sight: tumbleweeds, stacked the height and length of the school’s fence line.
People who live nearby say tumbleweeds are rolling around more frequently these days.
“I noticed them building up on the fences and then when you’re driving out into the country you notice them building up along the fence lines and then you’ll see the burn areas where the ranchers are trying to burn them,” Dumars said.
“There is actually a lot in this park that I come here with my dog all the time. They are always jumping the fences over here which is crazy,” said Albuquerque resident Chauffe Wallace.
Drivers know the drill. dodging tumbleweeds coming at them in the streets.
“The biggest one I saw if probably like this big and it was stuck under a corvette,” Wallace said.
Glenda Lamb has lived in Albuquerque for 40 years and said you learn how to maneuver around them.
“I’d walk my three little boys to school and had to dodge the tumbleweeds, that’s how big they were,” Lamb said.
A skill that she said is coming in handy right about now.
“I run into them and they would be much larger than a basketball,” Lamb said.
While tumbleweed is a symbol of the southwest, it’s not native to the southwest.
They are called Russian Thistle, and the common theory is that Russian immigrants brought it to South Dakota in 1873 in the form of contaminated flax seed.