The big blue truck idles slowly through the forest edge to the bench where my wife and I had a mobile home parked early in ourlife together. I had refused to move the small pines when they were only a few inches tall. We moved from that spot decades ago and now these pines form a privacy shelter for the site.
In mid Spring in our area the pine sends out clouds of airborne pollen that coats everything. In some years we joke about the Department of Highways needing to bring out the snow plows and clear that pollen from the roads.
Image Titled “Virginia Pine 5220b”
They are really just getting started in these photos. I have seen days when the breeze would pick up and the pollen coming from the pines looked like smoke rising into the air. They really go into production in a few weeks. The pine pollen can be real trouble for those of us who suffer from allergies but there might be a little benefit from all that yellow stuff floating in the air. Some herbalists say that pine pollen not only stimulates the immune system ( thus the allergic reaction) but might also prevent some types of cancer, increase testosterone levels, promote weight loss and lower blood pressure. ( This is according to a quickie Google search and only presented as trivia)
I asked Google how much pine pollen humans ingest per year without trying to but she didn’t seem to have an answer. I suspect that it’s quite a bit because there’s so much of it this time of year. The loblolly pine (not pictured ) can produce as much as 5 pounds of pollen per season per tree. When you consider that my home state of West Virginia is the third most forested state in the USA that’s a lot of pines pumping pollen into the air. We have to be getting enough to have a little effect on our nutrition.
( For more about the food value of Virginia Pine check out Forage Friday post #22)
As I ponder the oncoming pollen storm provided by the pines in my area I decided to head back to the house and make sure that my snow shovel was accessible. Just in case the pollen falls overnight. 😉
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