Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The other yellow snow

OK. So I've been away from the South for a long time, and I've forgotten what tons of trees produce at the onset of Spring: pollen. A thick, yellowy green carpet of the stuff which is just like yellow snow, only without the urination.

So I was sitting shivering in my freezing cold office today, wearing a fleece and long pants and man clogs despite the 90 degree heat, so I opened both my windows. But it still stayed chilly. I went out to get a coffee at around 3, and when I came back, I noticed that my laptop and my desk and everything had also gotten covered in pollen. Great.

Speaking of the heat. Everybody has been telling Mary that 90 degree heat is atypical for April. And, certainly, in the longer historical view it is. But how atypical is it for the period of accelerated global warming? That I don't know. I just got back here too, and historical median temperatures typically refer to data over as long a period as possible, not recent history.

The situation reminds me of Ivan Bunin's most famous short story, "The Man from San Francisco." In this story, a guy from San Francisco is traveling in Italy in March. He goes to Capri, has a heart attack, which eventually kills him. The narrator notes that, though it's always damp and foggy on Capri at this time of year, the locals tell tourists year after year that the grey weather is totally out of the ordinary.

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