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Each year here in the spring, the "yellow wind" of pollen aggravates allergies and makes a mess
Even the tiniest plants can create pollen issues.
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By Rob Hedelt
Though I'll bet that my nose is always going to be a better barometer of what's flying around than any weather service measurement.
Each year here in spring, we spot the yellow cascade of tree pollens that cover our cars, driveways and lives in
Other times of the year, pollens from grasses and weeds send many of us into fits of sneezing or cause our eyes to water, though that pollen's not as easy
This year, what one friend called "the yellow wind" seemed so thick and pervasive that for
Like Ah-nold when he played the mean old robot, each of these trees and their self-perpetuating releases felt like "The Pollenator," doing our breathing harm millions of pollen granules at a time.
I happened to be in Westmoreland County on the shore of the Potomac River during what several of the charting sites recorded as the heaviest week for pollen locally--the hot, sunny days from April 20-26.
According to pollen.com, hay fever may become more severe during days with high pollen levels such as those.
When you can almost feel chunks of pollen in the air you breathe, things can get a little tricky.
Maybe it happens every year during a heavy pollen week like that one, but standing on the shore of the Potomac at the end of that warm, dry week, I saw something new to me.
The first 50 feet of the river was no longer the greenish-brown I'm used to.
No, with big, mature trees kicking out pollen like nobody's business, the shallows on this day were the color of the original yellow Gatorade.
Not just on the surface, but all the way to the bottom, especially where the waves lapped at the shoreline.
The constant fall of pollen became more of a frustration when I got to work washing and waxing a boat.
On light pollen days, you could rinse a boat or car in the morning and get the day's big accumulation off.
But on that day, I was rinsing or wiping every half-hour.
The good thing about all of this: By the time we really get tired of this yellow tree pollen, it's on the wane.
The bad news: Ragweed and grasses will fill the void soon enough, with mold and other nose-bothering stuff to follow.
By the way, today's pollen forecast is "medium," with mulberry and oak the most active of the tree pollens affecting folks sensitive to them.
By Thursday, that forecast is back to "very high."
Buy tissues accordingly.
Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415