Pinus taeda, or the Loblolly pine, is a tall, skinny pine tree native to the coastal Southeastern United States. It is known for growing quickly, stopping erosion, producing a fine timber, and, every year around this time, blanketing the entire Southeast in a fine yellowish green dusty pollen. Yes, ladies and gentleman, it's Pollen Season and it's disgusting.
That's the pollen floating on top of a puddle on the sidewalk.
All over the bench.
Seriously, this shiznit gets everywhere. You wash your car and an hour later, it's covered. It sticks to bushes, sidewalks, windows, anything. Almost everyone who was not born into a family who's been in the South for at least 12 generations is allergic to it. Like me. I have lived in the South for 17 years now and every year during pollen season I feel like I have a horrible cold for weeks on end. Forget opening my windows, because it'll come in through the screen and blanket my living room. A few years ago, in my old apartment, I had a backyard. My cat Truman got out while I was watering plants and started to roll around on the stoop. When he stood up, he was that evil greenish color, covered in pollen. We immediately went inside and gave him a good, long scrubbing. I was home yesterday in the morning and felt fine. I went to the grocery store by bus. By the time I got to the shopping center with the Kroger, my eyes were watery, I was super sneezy, and my throat was scratchy. Only last year with the wicked drought were my allergies not so bad.
I am going to stay inside until June, leaving only so long as I'm wearing one of those Hazmat suits with it's own air system.
If you lived in North Carolina, you'd understand.