Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Great Oak Tree Pollen String Plague of '14

oak pollen.jpg

Ok, I’ve lived in Richmond for 53 of my 56 years, and at my current address for the past 15 years, and I have never seen as much of this stuff falling from the sky as I have over the last two weeks. Oak pollen strings, they are called, and yesterday I gathered up two trashcans full out of my back yard. The entire time I had to wear this dorky face mask that made me look like some HazMat guy cleaning up toxic waste, which actually is not far from the truth. But seriously, what’s the deal with this stuff?

Despite yesterday’s Herculean efforts at removal, this morning my deck is covered again. With every hint of a breeze comes a flurry of new arrivals. Some of them get tangled up in spider webs and just hang there, twisting in mid-air, taunting me. So, I will once again do battle with this latest plague on suburbia. I will fight with a leaf blower, a rake and my trusty face mask. But as bad as they are in my back yard, you should see the guy down the street. I think he’s from New Jersey or somewhere up north and isn’t accustomed to these charming seasonal plagues of the south. He’s trying to ignore them. As a result, the curb outside of his house is home to several oak tree pollen string tumbleweeds, all the size of bushel baskets. This is what they do apparently if left unattended. I wonder what this guy thinks will happen next? Will they eventually become car-sized, break free from the curb and gobble up some kid playing in the street? Will the oak tree pollen string fairy come magically in the night and take them all away?? Come on dude, this is Short Pump, not Newark.