Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, encouraging participation, and networking.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pollen in the Pines

On Tuesday, Barb Solem and I took a hike with my dog Trixie at Pakim Pond in Brendon Byrne Forest.  There was so much pollen it literally looked as though the woods were on fire and filled with smoke.  It was an entire fog bound forest except the fog was pollen.  I have never seen so much pollen anywhere.
Two documentaries I have seen really seemed pertinent to this experience.  One was a pbs nature series production called "What Plants Talk About."  Among the many revelations was how little we know about plants in general.
The other documentary was about Albert Einstein and an observation he made about asking questions about the things we see all around us, how that is what leads to the explorations into the deep secrets of our universe.
So the question I'm asking myself and anyone else who has experienced this phenomenon is Why was there so much pollen, such an unbelievable choking and clogging air-full of pollen this year?  I've been going to the woods for 50 years and never experienced this amount of pollen.
Perhaps the woods are like the Great Barrier Reef, and have a giant quiet explosion of mating materials, sperm and egg, all at one time.  And perhaps this was the day or the week when that happens.  Somewhere, someone, perhaps at Rutgers or Stockton must be studying pollen. 
Barbara's car was completely covered with a coating of it and when I got home, my glasses had a layer.  Also, the pond had a thick coat like a pancake batter, or more accurately, like a crepe batter, a dark golden color, coagulating on the surface. 
The pollen was so bad we had to cut our 5 mile hike from the pond to the Ranger Station in half and go back because it was choking us, and the dog, a mouth breather, of course, couldn't get a drink from any of the tiny path-side ponds because they had dried up and what little water was left was a mush and covered with the pollen.
Is this the natural expression of the pines in the last week of May?  Anyone out there know?

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