Pollen season, to be exact. I think most Americans consider this an actual season, right up there with spring, summer, fall, and winter. Of course, the length of pollen season can vary, depending on how much rain we get, and those with allergies are always grateful for the rain (if I remember correctly).
‘Tis the season… when the weather is so nice that you want to open the windows, but you know your house will get coated with yellow dust. Already, your car is covered in it, and you need to use your windshield wipers in order to see through it.
‘Tis the season when your green carport is already coated with pollen, and you can see the tire tracks in the yellow dust. Footprints, motorcycle tracks, and even wind patterns show up in the yellow stuff.
‘Tis the season when a gentle rain isn’t as welcome, because it leaves your car looking like it’s been puked on. A really good rain will wash most of the dust off, and then it starts all over again. If you want to save water, you just let your car turn completely yellow, rather than rinsing it off, every single day.
‘Tis the season when you cheerfully ask students if they’re enjoying the weather, and 10% of them practically growl at you. For them, this season is misery, with their allergies kicking in, and they’re wishing that winter was back. All the rest of us annoying people enjoy the sunshine and are grateful that we inherited genes that allow us to breathe.
I’ve been trying to remember if Australia even has a pollen season of any sort. My recollection was they don’t have a proper autumn, because most of gum trees are evergreen, so leaves don’t fall! Every American’s dream… living somewhere they don’t have to rake leaves. Ok, some Americans. And if the leaves don’t fall, those same trees don’t have the horrible pollen problem that our deciduous trees do. But my Aussie friends can feel free to correct me, if I missed something.
‘Tis the season where you might see me staring up at the treetops… and if you’re lucky, you’ll see me run into something, step off a sidewalk, and trip (but only if you’re lucky). I haven’t done it yet, but it could happen. Once the leaves are all in, I won’t have much to look at, because the green uniformity will block out the interesting look of the branches. Stupid leaves.
But as I walk by a few bare trees, day by day, I see the small buds appear. I’m waiting to find out what those trees are, inside the bare branches. And if a friend of mine remembered, he grabbed a leaf from a popcorn tree, in order to find out whether they are pear trees or not.
‘Tis the season where the dogwoods are in full bloom, long before any of the big trees. I finally discovered what the actual dogwood flowers look like, since the white leaves are not actually the petals of a flower.
And to close on a random note, I noticed a large clump of mistletoe hanging from a branch in the parking lot, as if its weight was too much for the tree. It made me smile, and wish someone would go tie a red ribbon around it. That would give some tired professors something to think (or be confused) about, when they got back to their cars. : )