It is a gray, foggy and misty morning. I was up and on my way to my morning workout before dawn. The headlights of cars were distorted into orbs of light making it difficult to determine where the cars were actually located.
It is daylight now, but still foggy, gray and raining. With any luck, we will have enough rain to wash the yellow snow off our decks, porches and cars. Yellow snow began falling about a week ago. Oh, you don’t know what yellow snow is? Perhaps you call it something different in your neck of the woods. In the South, especially in Atlanta and surrounding cities, yellow snow is commonly known as pollen. That’s right – pollen. Pollen – or yellow snow, if you will be so kind as to indulge me – begins falling with spring’s very first bloom (which can be as early as March – like this year) and it will fall until usually mid-to-late April.
It is the most beautiful season – Spring in Atlanta – and for many of us – the most miserable. Our eyes water, itch, and turn red like a roadmap. Our nose drips, our voices get raspy and sometimes completely silent. We cough, hack, sneeze, wheeze, cry and whine. We take drugs to stop the symptoms. The drugs make us sleep – even at our desks at work.
As the season progresses, the pollen gets even thicker. It doesn’t help to wash our cars or pressure wash our decks. The next day you cannot tell we have ever used water on our cars and decks. It’s so bad here that the weather forecasters at all the major TV stations give the daily pollen count and rates it: low, good, fair, high, very high, extremely dangerous for those with respiratory problems. We are already in the “very high” range and it’s only April 4th.
We have beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees here in the spring. Our state is known for its dogwood trees. I can look out the windows of my house and see cherry trees, Bradford pears, azaleas, forsythias – the list goes on. If only we didn’t have to breathe their pollen.
But wait – wouldn’t that mess up their eco-system or nature’s balance or whatever you want to call it? And if that’s messed up, maybe they would not bloom and be so beautiful. I guess we will learn to live with the yellow snow!