Yesterday I noticed the tree next to our garage is getting tiny buds – oh oh! Lately I’ve been sneezing for no particular reason.
I love this little tree because it creates a shady spot over our driveway, and it’s very pretty. But it gets these little tassel flowers that seem to produce more pollen than your average tree flower. They dump green, shiny pollen all over our pick-up truck, and if I leave the upstairs windows open, the window sills and my desk get coated with the stuff.
My husband used to get sick at this time of year – I remember how his eyelids would puff up like tiny blow fish, his eyelashes sticking out like spines. Now my older son gets similar symptoms. I don’t get it as bad, but once in a while it sneaks up on me and I get a sinus infection that won’t go away, and that can turn into an ear infection if the North Wind has anything to say about it.
The worst offenders are the tassel flowers and privet flowers. Privet pollen looks like ground glass, and that’s what it feels like in your nose, throat and eyes. Have you ever watched a mulberry flower? The little tassels look like smoking cigarettes – close the windows!
I not only close my windows over the week or so that this little tree flowers, I go out and spray it with the hose, almost daily. I see the new flowers, and I hit them with the water, and the pollen just explodes in a big green puff ball, washes to the ground. Of course I am covered head-to-toe with old clothes that I deposit in the garage.
I don’t mind wearing a little bandana over my face either, I get used to it. They sell those in all kinds of pretty colors at Walmart, a dollar or two a piece. Paper masks are nice, but they get dirty and have to be thrown away. They’re expensive. Last year we bought a few boxes for $1 each at a garage sale, but they’re almost gone.
We also wash our cars regularly at this time of year, and clean the inside out as good as we can. And the dogs – they got a bath yesterday. Don’t talk to Biscuit, she’s still mad. We go to a lot of trouble to please that old bitch – we bring a bucket of hot water down from the apartment, dump it into a five gallon bucket of cold water, and give her a nice warm bath. She don’t care – she’ll take your finger off if she gets a chance, she gets so mad. Badges is almost worse – he stands there, tail between his legs, looking like he’s being punished. After they’re dry, they get frisky again, but Biscuit runs and hides, and won’t even come out for a treat for a good half-hour.
My son complains his cats bring it in the house – that’s a problem. My husband suffered a lot more when we had cats, that’s for sure. I loved them but it was a 24 hour job keeping the house clean. I sure as hell ain’t going to suggest you wash your cat – train them to take a good brushing, and do it outside in a jacket you can leave outside. We had a female that would actually be vacuumed, she’d arch her back and me-owwwww!
Get ready, we’re about to be pollinated!