Sunday, 20 June 2010

Calm down Moses, drink this and tell us all about it.

The picture above is of a yew tree, releasing pollen in early spring. I'm not sure I would want my child to be as close as this to it, for fear of developing some sort of asthmatic allergy, but there we are.

I am always amazed at this phenomena, and have wondered if it is the cause of the Moses and 'burning bush' story. I would imagine that if you were half starved, dying of thirst and scorched by the blistering sun in the desert, then coming across something like this which was not a hallucination might spark off some pretty wild theories in your fevered mind.

There is a tree just around the corner from us which - for the past two weeks or more - has been releasing clouds of white, fluffy seeds into the air, and sometimes they are so thick that it looks like a snow-storm. I tried to take pictures of it, but they do not show it to full effect and it looks more like a bad print.

I sort of cannot understand how one tree can produce so much stuff, day and night, for so long. I know it is all very light and fluffy, but I have never known a year like this for floating and drifting tree seed. It is coming in through our windows and forming piles in corners. The streets are covered in it, and it is still coming. I like it.


  1. That's amazing. I never knew that yews did that. Here the pines release clouds of yellow pollen in early spring. Your picture looks more like a bonfire!

  2. I heard that in Russia they call it 'Summer Snow".
    Gotta love Mother Nature!

  3. I knew someone who called the fire brigade because of this once.

    'Summer Snow' - very apt, J. I wonder how long it would be before someone called the police if us humans stood around in the street, doing the same thing...

  4. It just looks like the tree is on fire. Fascinating! The seasons do seem to be unusual this year. We've got an old coat hanging up in one of the polytunnels and a bee or something has built a nest on the sleeve of it. Looks like its built out of garden dust into a honeycombe with all these little sections filled up with pollen and larvae in each individual section. Never seen anything like that before. I had to take the coat outside - don't much fancy a swarm of angry what ever they are buzzing around.

  5. A small swarm of bees made a nest in a pair of my old trousers this spring. This is why I have hardly done any work since then. I was wearing the trousers at the time, and I haven't dared to take them off since. I'm typing very gently, and looking forward to the autumn.

  6. What a strange phenomenon! I'd never heard this about the yew tree, but what a cool shot!