|The pollen is so thick that you can write your name in it!|
As much as we love springtime, there is one problem. Dad is coughing. Mom is sneezing. My eyes are watering. What causes these symptoms? Pollen!!!
Pollen looks like a powder. Pollen is very important in the plant world. It helps plants make more plants. Pollen must move from one plant to another. Sometimes the wind helps. Most of the time special plant helpers move the pollen around. These helpers are called pollinators. Pollinators can be insects like bees or mammals like bats. For some great information on pollinators, click here: ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/MT/www/about/PollinatorActivityBook.pdf
Pollen may be great for the plant world. Unfortunately, it is not so good for some people. Some people are allergic to pollen. When your body doesn't like something, it has a reaction. This reaction is called an allergy. A person who is allergic to pollen begins to sneeze. Then their eyes itch. Then they begin to cough and sniffle. Pollen allergies can make people feel pretty miserable.
Almost everything that is blooming right now has pollen. The flowers have pollen. The trees have pollen. Weeds and grasses have pollen. When the wind blows, the pollen flies in the air and looks like dust. Some people are allergic to pine pollen, others to oak pollen, others to weed or grass pollen.
When the wind blows, the pine pollen begins to fly. Our cars turn yellow from the pine dust. Our decks and porches turn yellow. Our sidewalks and driveways turn yellow. It only lasts for a few weeks, but, during that time, EVERYTHING turns yellow! (To show you how much pollen we have, the picture at the top of this post is from our front porch!)
Today we are on a high pollen alert. That means that anyone with pollen allergies should be careful. They should not go outside. They should keep their windows closed. If they do go outside, they should change their clothes when they come inside. They should take a bath and wash their hair.
I hope that you don't have pollen allergies!
If you would like to know more about pollen and allergies, here are two great activity books that you will enjoy: