May 7th, 2011

caillebotte_the orangerie

More of These Days

The dusty, yellow pine pollen has begun blowing. It settles on the other plants and gathers in low drifts on the pavement. More importantly, it invades my nose, making me sneeze again and again. It's the worst of the pollens for provoking sneezes. I always hope for a rain or two when the pine pollen arrives. Until it is washed away, it tends to rise from every footstep, and sweeping the walks and driveway and back porch is pointless, as the broom just blows most of it about. If there is no rain, I'll just have to sprinkle everything with the hose in a few days.

Speaking of brooms, when I opened the garage door this afternoon I saw an enormous spider scurrying up a strand of silk, back-lit by the light from the opening door. I couldn't tell what kind of spider it was, so I just grabbed the nearby broom and did the arachnoid whack, just in case it was a black widow. After it hit the floor, I smacked it a few more times and swept it toward the door, so by the time I was able to get a close look it had been so badly damaged that I was unable to tell if it was indeed a black widow. Whatever it was, I'm glad it won't be dropping onto me from the ceiling now.

The warm days are continuing, but the pollen remains too thick for me to chance opening the windows. The whole house would fill with the stuff. Either the pollen is getting worse, or I'm becoming more sensitive to it each year. I'll probably go through at least two boxes of tissues before the worst of the season is over. All I can do is wait it out. I'd sure love to be able to spend a few days at the beach, though.
franz_marc_foxes

Clouded

A nice overcast has developed, raising the possibility that I'll get the pollen-washing rain for which I'd hoped. If rain makes the ground soft, I'll be able to pull up those foxtails that have invaded the iris bed, almost hiding many of the flowers. The dryer the ground is, the harder they are to dislodge. The stems break, leaving the roots ensconced to regrow the plant. I've liberated the rose bed, but never got around to the irises. Probably should have done them first.

Alger is still making himself scarce. If he's been coming here to eat, it's been only brief visits at times when I haven't looked outside. Food vanishes from the bowls, but I can't be sure which cats other than Farah are eating it. I wish Alger would at least make an appearance, however brief, so I could be sure he's still around.