The Yellow Bathtub Ring – Pine Dust

For those of you who aren’t at the lake in June, you don’t see the waves of yellow pollen blowing off the pine trees. It is a pretty inefficient way to mix up the gene pool and it sure means that you have to dust everything. Many people call the pollen “pine dust” and it sure is produced in amazing quantities.

As you go around the lake at this time, you often see a line of yellow on the rocks and beaches. When there are strong winds, this line gets washed off and the pollen mixes with the water and sinks but when there is a light breeze and the pollen is in the air, it can be quite impressive. IMG_3452

The above picture shows the pollen along Stamp Act Island in one of the bays near the Sand Bar. The light colored stuff in the water is more pollen that may end up on the rocks or just sink. Below is an example of what happens when the wind blows lots of pollen together. The log is about 3 feet long…

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Below is a picture of a patch that is about 3 feet in diameter.

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It isn’t hard to imagine how much pollen ends up on every surface in a house if the house isn’t completely air tight. (Of course, things outside or on a screened porch get covered, too. Screens will also collect it and have to be cleaned off in order to see out.) While there is lots of wasted pollen, in most years, enough gets to other pine trees so there is a large crop of pine cones in the Fall. Exceptions are when there are heavy rains when the pollen is being released which means that it falls straight to the ground and doesn’t find another tree. On a dry, windy day, yellow curtains of yellow dust blow across the landscape. To some, it is interesting and beautiful, to others, it is a chore to clean up.