Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pollen (and Smoke) in the Air

I smelled just a hint of smoke in the air today. It reminded me of India, where the humid air holds all sorts of smells and where someone is always burning something. The air here looked hazy too. We drove to Durham for errands and a walk with Kodi. The air smelled the same. Only then did we realize that it was pollen. UPDATE: I just read that smoke from fires burning in southern Quebec was reaching us here in southern New Hampshire. So it really was smoke in the air. The smoke plus pollen made the air thick.

Tree pollen, especially from white pine, seems especially high this year. I never suffer from allergies, but my throat had a tickle. The air looks cloudy, there is the faint smell of smoke, and the ground is covered in yellow powder. After last nights rain a bright yellow puddle formed at the bottom of the driveway. On our woodland walk with Kodi we noticed that everything was covered in yellow -- all the way down to the understory plants including the wild sarsaparilla.

wild sarsaparilla coated in yellow pollen

Thankfully neither of us suffers from allergies. This would be a difficult day if you did, especially in New Hampshire. Click on this pollen/allergy forecast and you'll see that our state is high compared to most of the country.

We postponed our hike up Mt. Chocorua until tomorrow, when the weather is expected to be excellent for a hike. Steady winds are already clearing the air of pollen.

Another interesting trend this year, in addition to high pollen levels, is the lack of black flies. Knock on wood, but I don't think we've seen a black fly yet this year. Where are they? Not that I miss them, but you do wonder.

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