Lo0k what the wind blew in! A man clears out fast-growing tumbleweed from a home in the town of Wangaratta. Pic Cred: Channel 7/AFP/Getty Images.
Hairy panic is paralyzing parts of Wangaratta, in southeast Australia. Panicum effusum, a type of long, tufted grass, has been growing unchecked in nearby paddocks and this past week has blown, helter skelter, into the small town of Wangaratta, situated 250 km northeast of Melbourne.
According to a news report posted by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday, February 18th, 2016, the tumbleweed, nicknamed hairy panic, looks innocuous and even delicate in photographs. However, the plants are metres in diameter and one Wangaratta resident said when he went to open his front door he found a good six-metre spread of tumbleweed across the front of the house – again!
The ABC news report said the hairy panic comes around every year at this time – it is endemic to the southeast part of Australia – but this summer Down Under has been particularly bad. Although the tumbleweed doesn’t pose a fire risk, nor is it toxic to animals, it does make a big mess to clean up.
While Canadians have to deal with end of winter snow falls, Australians have a hairy panic on their hands this time of year as tumbleweeds blow into their small community. Pic Cred: Channel 7/AFP/Getty Images.