The Star-Herald

Let the sneezing begin

The buds are out. It is a sure sign of spring when one starts to see the buds beginning to come out of the tree branches. Temperatures increasing and the start of the zephyr season. A simple walk outside and it is easy to hear the wind through those trees.

Fog seems to creep in when least expected and a dance of veils begins.

Readers may want to hide this part of the column behind a brown paper bag. Definitely do not let your churchgoing auntie read this as she is liable to begin handing out spoonfuls of cod liver oil and hot mustard poultices just to make sure one is not ailing.

With the advent of spring, the plans at the pharmacy are to order in as much tissue, nasal drops, eye drops, antihistamines and breathing treatments as possible. Meanwhile, the robins, bluejay, crows, and woodpeckers are continuing to cavort in a lively manner. Early flies are popping out and engaging with each other in an amorous fashion. Pretty soon the radio will be drowned out in the evening when the frog chorus begins singing. Green shoots are going to pop up and tulips will begin their brief and spectacular appearance. A few wits will say that love is in the air. It is.

Birds do it; bees do it; and yes, even trees do it. Trees, those quiet behemoths on the hillsides, lanes and yards of the community will be in full blossom very soon. The purpose of a blooming tree has only one result. It is the production of more trees. The unbridled promiscuity of the trees can be charted by the pollen production that is measured at the local air quality control center. That beautiful tall plant stands in the field or in the woods and shakes itself about. It causes the winds of spring to speed up. Pollen is released. It floats around until it finds a willing female tree and then … we will leave this to the imagination.

That sighing sound that one hears as spring slowly warms up is the satiation of our leafy neighbors. This is procreation. Blatant promiscuity is taking place and it leaves one crying, sneezing and wheezing.

Making the inevitable trip to the pharmacy, seeking solace for a lovesick heart — one can only wonder at the bounty that is about to unfold in a few short days: greens. The trees will turn green and stories will be traded of the tremendous issues discovered by vast amounts of pollen. 

The pharmacists hope they have ordered enough tissues for the romance and watering eyes that result. Soon the chickens from the farm store will be re housed in new coops; the spuds in the ground; and life will go back to normal. It will be Bug Time. Hello, summer.

Orpheus Allison is a photojournalist living in The County who graduated from UMPI and earned a master of liberal arts degree from the University of North Carolina. He began his journalism career at WAGM television, later working in many different areas of the US. After 20 years of television he changed careers and taught in China and Korea.

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