Since global warming appears to have landed in Utah this spring of 2015, we are going to have to get used to changes. The fruit growers statewide are pretty much crapping their pants right now because the freaky warm spring is causing things like apricot and peach trees to be in full bloom a month too early. One dip into the low twenties and orchards will lose virtually any possibility of bringing profits this year.
My wife has noticed the early spring. She has a perpetual surprised look on her face, indicating she’s ready to sneeze into her bent arm at any moment. She goes through a box of Kleenex a day, scowling at me as if it’s my fault she’s allergic to all Utah plant life. I feel for her. Really, I do! When I moved to Utah in 1970, I was allergic to virtually every growing thing the state had to offer. I had those ‘back scratch allergy tests’ and then weekly allergy shots for a year. She had the test too (again scowling at me) after moving here for love, and she found out there were at least 10 plants here she didn’t react to before when she lived in Portland, Oregon. The worst reaction she had was to the pollen of Russian olive trees. Her allergist advised her not to get shots until she acclimated to the plants and seasons here.
Have you seen magnification of pollen parts before? Holy hell, they look like spikey evil Goat Head sticker plants or micro-satellites with razor sharp appendages. Would you know it but pollen is the MALE fertilizing aspect of plants. Some plants have insects pick up the pollen while others let the wind carry the evil dudes to impregnate plants all helter skelter. Our noses inhale the sharp pollen particles and they then impale themselves on our sinuses to cause non-consensual pain and suffering. Our noses run as a biological reaction to try and wash out the balls of misery and we sneeze to let high force nasal winds attempt to blow them back to where they came from.
Alas, trees are pollinating now and will continue until Memorial Day. Then the wild grasses and lawn grasses will follow until Days-O-47-ish and then the weeds take over until the first hard frost happens. Cottonwoods, cedars/junipers, willows, elm, oak, ash, birch and Russian olives are sending their love to all sufferers right now. When it’s windy the pollen gets stirred up even more and the Kleenex manufacturer gets even happier. Homeowners along the Wasatch front and in Cache Valley have been adding air filtration systems to their furnaces to strain out the pollutants in our air during winter inversions. These devices also will help purify the air inside your house from mold/ mildew, bacteria, pet dander and many pollens the rest of the year. Call your local HVAC service provider and get a bid to add one to your home. Some of them are even good for the environment by not contributing to pollute the ozone by using coconut husk filters-cool, huh?