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How to Craft a Desert Snowman

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It’s not looking promising for a white Christmas this holiday season here in Southeast New Mexico, but don’t let the lack of powdery snowflakes limit your creativity. While the moisture in the air lacks, the Russian Thistle this year is ample. 
 
We’ve all noticed it driving down 285 blowing across the four lanes as tumbling tumbleweeds. In a few remote locations, the roads have been impassable due to the dried tumbleweed frames of the Russian Thistle. In short, tumbleweeds were a bumper crop this year after an unusually wet summer. Farmers and ranchers talk of baling the inconvenient weeds and trucking them off of their properties to prevent the unrestricted rolling of the weeds across the desert landscape. If there are enough Russian Thistle tumbleweeds out there to bale like hay, perhaps turning the dry remains of  the invasive species into 2021 wintery snowmen is a family activity worth attempting. Check out the ten steps below to build a very New Mexico snowman. 
 
Step 1:
 
Collect Russian Thistle tumbleweeds from fence lines where they have been trapped temporarily. 
 
Step 2: 
 
Roll three or four tumbleweeds together to form the base of the snowman. 
 
Step 3:
 
Roll two to three tumbleweeds together to form the middle adominal section of the snowman. 
 
Step 4:
 
Place the smaller of the two tumbleweed balls on top of the larger one. Twist and press the smaller ball of tumbleweeds onto the larger one to secure in place. 
 
Step 5: 
 
Roll another one to two tumbleweeds together to create the snowman head. 
 
Step 6:
 
Place the snowman head on top of the abdominal section. Remember to twist and press the tumbleweeds together. 
 
Step 7:
 
Spray paint the Russian Thistle snowman white, if desired, to recreate an authentic snowman appearance. 
 
Step 8:
 
Add pinecones or pecans for eyes and a smile. 
 
Step 9: 
 
Place a small carrot or acorn for a nose and twigs for arms.
 
Step 10:
 
Add a top hat, a western cowboy hat, or a scarf to complete the snowman’s ensemble. 
 
The snowman pictured above was crafted by Lola & Violet Newton.
Photo Courtesy: Juli Newton

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