One of the dirty little secrets of the Carolinas that you won't see on the travel brochures or the websites exposing their quality of life is that every Spring.... Pollen begins to fall from the sky turning everything a Maizy Yellow with tinges of Spring Green and no one ever knows exactly when it's going to fall or for how long it will last.
The locals wax poetic on stories on when it will come early or when it will come late, how long it will last and how this relates to Easter or the strength of winter or an early, hot summer but the truth is when people start staring up at the Pine Trees you can figure it will start in about a week.
Bright yellow "things" appear on the Pine Trees, they get yellower, and yellower until they look a bit like bright yellow daisies and then.... one day while outside you think there is smoke at the end of the cul de sac... except it doesn't smell like smoke and you can't figure out where it's coming from...
It's not smoke.
It's not fog.
It's Pine Pollen drifting down on to the ground, flinging itself over the garbage cans by the curb waiting for pick up and dusting parked cars with caked on yellow powder.
People complain a lot. People get down right pissy.
The weather is beautiful, the deck is unusable.
Last year it came after the Azaleas opened up and their color and beauty was masked and hidden in some mean trick of nature. This year, the azaleas haven't completely opened so hopefully we will get some color when the rain and a million hoses attempts to wash the pollen away.
Personally, hoping we can get rid of it to eat outside on Passover. I'm Jewish, to me it flirts with Passover every year, but Passover and Easter do sort of come together. Hopefully, people will be able to enjoy Easter Sunday without hiding from the pollen. It's got to be hard to look for Easter Eggs in that yellow-green mess.
I'm thinking Crayola should name a crayon for it... except Georgia and the Carolinas like to keep it a secret from the tourists and future possible home owners.
The first time I came here was the last week in March. The pollen had not fallen. The dogwood were the most beautiful things I had seen since the pretty, pink-purple tree in the drive way and everything looked picture perfect. Nice.
A day or two after I left the pollen began to fall.
No one mentioned it.
Shhhh it's a secret!
People hide inside, they go to the Mall or the movies .... sometimes they attempt to sleep at work rather than see how filthy their car is....
Here's a cute line from an article in the Raleigh paper: "When you come indoors, the pollen hitches a ride so change your clothing and shower off immediately. "
And, then...............the little squiggly, pine blossoms fall all over everything.... they make more of a mess than the fallen leaves of Autumn fame.
Of course, there are also a lot of other types of pollen... it's not ALL Pine... it's the usual gang of suspects but they don't color your world yellow-green.
This morning, I went to use my Nespresso machine and there was a fine mist of green on it. The windows were shut, the AC is on and it's far from a window but it had to be wiped down.
I've never understood the lure of the Carolinas or the Raleigh-Durham area. I can't quite figure out who is sleeping with who in the world of PR because everywhere you look there is some article singing it's virtues.
Trust me... no one mentions the Pine Pollen....
As for me, I'm here preparing for Passover which we will be celebrating in North Carolina this year, it's a great meeting point it seems for family members in Miami and Crown Heights. Ten hours to NY, twelve hours to Miami. Just about half way if you don't mind getting off of I95 a bit.
Everywhere you go there is some season no one talks about. In Miami we don't talk about the Mango Season when blooms give locals a headache. In Maine . . . you have the MUD SEASON. The mud season in New England is so bad...they make special rooms for the mud... seriously.
They say it's "foggy outside" and it should burn off later in the day. Hmnnn, they call it "SMOG" in LA, I'm thinking they should call it POG here in Raleigh, never saw fog that was yellow before . . .
Good news... it's gonna rain this weekend and that should wash some of the pollen away, until more falls........
83 degrees and you know where I'll be today, hiding from the pollen....