10/28/2006

Satanheads

Update 8/5/2007, added two pics of midsummer growing goatheads at the end

Most people call em goatheads or puncture vines, but no goat looks like that. They are the true heads of satan heself.


Really, what goat looks like that?

So here is how it works. The weed grows as a low lying vine with little yellow flowers. See the bottom of the post for flowers and green thorns. The flowers turn into little thorn stars like this as they dry:


There are somewhere between 4-6 cabezas del diablo in each little rosette. Meaning 8-12 thorns per flower. Oh, and there are maybe 20-1,000,000 flowers per plant. And the plant can grow in fields if there is a wet growing season. Little bastards.

So what happens when you run over a plant with your bike? This:

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Thats something like 12 thorns from one plant in the front tire of my Bridgestone Picnica. Usually as you ride along the fat part of the thorn (the half head) breaks off, presumably spreading the seed, and leaving the thorn (satans horn) deep in your tire broken off flush with the surface. Fortunately a good tube sealant can handle hundreds of thorns, which are easy to pick up in a few miles of riding along the railtrail in santa fe in the winter. While sitting at coffee I pulled out well over 100 thorns out of the 12 inch tire in 15 minutes. Pumped up the tire and it held no problem. Woo! I have much better luck with the true goo and specialized airlock sealant than Slime sealant.

Spent a few hours today slowly cruising the backroads and tiny paths of Santa Fe on the Picnica today. Maybe some more pics tomorrow...


Some midsummer young and green goatheads hardening up for another rough fall:

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