The Los Angeles area is seeing something it hasn’t seen for some time: an infestation of tumbleweeds.
L.A. agriculture officials say the unusually high number of tumbleweeds blowing through the county is drought related. Dry conditions have allowed the plants to crowd out other vegetation like mustard and castor bean. Fire officials worry that the traveling weeds will lodge against homes and other structures and increase the already extreme fire danger.
Areas being inundated by the balls of thorny branches include the San Fernando Valley, Griffith Park and foothill areas in the San Gabriel and Santa mountains.
And it’s not just Southern California. Tumbleweed invasions are being reported from Utah to Texas, with homes in some areas almost completely covered by the menacing clumps.
Officials say tumbleweed infestations are cyclical and will diminish in coming years.
It’s all enough to make you nostalgic for Sons of the Pioneers.