Today, I looked out my front window, admiring the massive pine tree in my neighbor’s yard. It is directly across from my short driveway. I often look at this tree and wonder how old it is because it is so tall. For years I have loved this tree. I have seen many large pine cones among its needled branches and covering the ground below. Sometimes they are so plentiful that some will roll over to my driveway.
Today I noticed bright yellow clusters adorning the tips of its branches. I turned to the trusty Google to learn these are the male flowers of the pine tree, and only the male flowers produce pollen. But I did not need that last bit of information after what I witnessed for myself.
I caught a glimpse of a cute squirrel playing in the big tree. He was having quite a good time jumping from limb to limb, playing on this beautiful Spring day. Then he jumped on top of one of the many male flower clusters. Much to my surprise, a tremendous amount of neon yellow dust went POOF when he did so! Yep, pollen.
Instead of laughing at the squirrel’s clown-like antics, I cringed. Yes cringed, when I realized what I was witnessing was a pollen bomb of sorts. I am highly allergic to pollen, and to think that the beautiful tree I admired daily was full of these pollen bombs made me panic. All I could think was that it was too close to my front door. How can I ever avoid that much pollen? After all, the tree is huge! And its branches are full of this torture dust.
So what did I do? Simple. I took my first allergy pill of the season. I will continue to take a pill daily until the pollen has done its duty and the heat of summer has me safely tucked away indoors with the air conditioning running.
I didn’t see what happened to the squirrel. I wonder if he had an allergic reaction to all that pollen or if he continued to jump and play, setting off bomb after bomb of neon yellow—something else to ponder.
Here’s hoping that wherever you are in this big round world, you are safe from the pollen bombs and enjoying your Spring.