Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today's Wx: Scattered Pollen with 100% Chance of Mucus Precipitation

When it was cold, we begged for the warmer weather of spring. We were then rewarded with several inches of greenish-yellow pollen. And I don't think it is a coincidence that the color of pollen is similar to that of mucus. Spring might offer relief from winter, but it also provides lots of mixed emotions toward the outdoors.

Budding Trees => Beautiful
Squiggly, Pollen-Infused Tree Debris => Annoying & Messy

Blooming Flowers => Breathtaking
Greenish-Yellow Dust => Unbreathable

No one is all that worried about sneezy, wheezy people in public during springtime. We all know the allergies from which they suffer are not contagious. Watery eyes, intense nasal congestion, sneezes that propel gallons of droplets of mucus and hacking coughs simply come standard with the awakening of the earth.

Springtime Allergies
Pollen-covered vehicles 
offer a canvas for writing notes 
and drawing pictures.
Thankfully, I'm not an allergy sufferer. But I know many who become incapacitated when the trees and flowers begin to bloom. My heart goes out to them, especially the ones under my roof. And while the allergy ailment may very well be an inherited anomaly, I do believe there are things that can be done to lesson the impact. When I took the required biology course in college, I remember learning that the human body is greatly capable of adapting to its environment. Advances in technology, however, have made it possible to avoid the outdoors during pollen season. Climate controlled homes and cars combined with over-the-counter medications that alleviate symptoms have kept exposure to pollens down. This underexposure to spring pollen is why I believe so many suffer. But I believe if people would expose themselves to more pollen, they'd build up a tolerance and reduce the symptoms. Here are a few ways we could expand pollen exposure:

Pollen Angels
Plunk down in a thick layer of pollen and then swipe arms and legs back and forth just as you would do in a few inches of snow. This activity is sure to stir up lots of pollen for which your nose will have direct access.

Pollen Messaging
Write notes to your friends in the pollen on their vehicle. Conveniently, when your friend washes their car and destroys your message, there will be enough pollen buildup within a few hours to re-write the message.

Pollen Condiments
We already eat pollen in honey. Local honey seems to alleviate allergies. Therefore, why not create other pollen-infused condiments? Stirring a little pollen into ketchup and mustard, sprinkling pollen on salads or adding it to soup would not only boost exposure, but also might add interesting colors and tastes to your foods.

These exposure methods might seem extreme, but I offer them out of sympathy to all those who are miserable this time of year. As a non-allergic bystander, I feel I must do all I can to help make this world a little less sneezy, itchy and snotty.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 

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Micki Bare's Blog (Arkansas News Bureau)

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