Spring can really hang you up

Spring can really hang you up

[pictured above, an alder (Alnus rubra) male catkin that releases pollen] As I gaze out the window here in the Pacific Northwest, thankfully the heavy rain is washing away the high levels of atmospheric pollen that has accumulated in recent weeks. The early spring courtesy of El Niño brought with it clouds of tree pollen from a variety of species, including alder, cedar, birch, cottonwood, maple and willow, and it has been giving some people a fair amount of grief. The other day when I looked at our car, it seemed to my 47 year old eyes that some kind of yellow-green algae was growing in between the windows and rubber seals. But on closer inspection it was actually pollen, which had found its way into every little seam of the car, accumulating like a kind of glue. Then I remembered how rather than being comprised of 'bisquick' (as is often the case), one of the original bannock recipes eaten by First Nations peoples calls for cattail pollen, which exudes in abundance for only a short f … [Read more...]