TUMBLEWEEDS TAKE OVER SMALL AUSTRALIAN TOWN

[ENVIRONMENT ★]

TUMBLEWEEDS TAKE OVER SMALL AUSTRALIAN TOWN

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(P1) A fast-growing TUMBLEWEED called “hairy panic” is OVERWHELMING homes in a small Australian town.

(P2) Extremely dry conditions mean the weeds pile up each day outside a row of homes at Wangaratta, in the northeast part of Victoria state.

(P3) FRUSTRATED residents are forced to clear out the weeds for several hours every day, with piles of hairy panic at times reaching the height of the roofs of the houses.

(P4) “It’s physically DRAINING and mentally more draining,” resident Pam Twitchett said.

(P5) Also known by its Latin name Panicum effusum, hairy panic is a grass that is found in every Australian state.

(P6) It’s called “hairy” because while there are a number of other Panicum species, none of the others have long hairs along the edges of their leaves.

(P7) It grows rapidly and can easily form tumbleweeds which are dead grass with seeds inside.

(P8) It can cause a potentially FATAL condition called “yellow big head” in sheep if eaten in large quantities. Sheep are common farm animals throughout Australia.

(P9) Wangaratta VETERINARIAN Richard Evans said the weed loses its TOXICITY once it dries up, so the tumbleweeds are not dangerous to the sheep – but are very ANNOYING to the humans.

(P10) “The tumbleweeds are not going to kill people’s dogs and cats, they just make a hell of a mess,” he said.

(P11) Authorities are unable to help with the CLEAN-UP because the tumbleweeds do not pose a fire threat.

WORDS: 229

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35600546

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you ever suffer from HAY FEVER caused by plants?
  3. What is the worst situation you have ever faced at your house or apartment?
  4. Are you more bothered by very dry weather or very wet weather?
  5. Whether or not the tumbleweeds are a fire threat, should the Australian government help with the clean-up?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Clean-up
  • Hay fever

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One thought on “TUMBLEWEEDS TAKE OVER SMALL AUSTRALIAN TOWN

  1. Pingback: WEEK 76 | Cambly's Curated Articles

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