Sunday, August 10, 2008

#1 Goatheads

I shall begin with the first New Mexico plant I learned about, the hard way, when I was seven. Goatheads. Are there more or fewer now than in the 1960's? Fewer right next to me, and yet these are all walking distance and some were in my yard. The low plants with little yellow flowers are the goathead plants. The stickers (not yet ripe) are goatheads. They are all, as a group, in any form, called goatheads. click to enlarge

Those are growing between my house and the grocery store.

Below is a close-up of some right across the alley from my back gate. You can see the stickers starting to form.

I have a page with notes on goatheads that I started a few years ago
After the frost, I'll go and gather a bunch up and photograph them and bring the image back here, I hope. (Feel free to remind me, anyone who comes by here in a few months, if I haven't done it.)

8/11 addition: I found a photo I had marked up a while back to show how sweet and innocent the goatheads look when they come up in the yard:

When we lived at our old house, Keith and I pulled every goathead we EVER saw—we would walk into the neighbors' yards to pull them (they certainly didn't mind) because we had little kids who liked to go barefooted. I would pull them at public parks. I would take gloves and a bag when we would go to the park. Now our kids know what the plants look like and I don't pull the goatheads out of the neighbor's yard. :-)

And here are two older photos of vacant-lot goatheads, when it was dry. One shows a single plant about a foot across. The other shows a couple of more older plants, probably four or five feet across all of that, and those seeds were ready to get me. One seed/sticker can create hundreds more. This wasn't a great camera so they're not totally clear, but honestly, goatheads are not used to being photographed at all, so these did pretty well.

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