It’s been a long winter here in Austin. We haven’t had any snow or ice, but we have had several mornings where the temperature has dipped well below the freezing mark. I guess what makes it seem so long to me is that I rarely get outside between mid-December and early February.
It’s not because we have cold winter temperatures here, but it is because of what the local Austinites know as “cedar fever“. It is during this time of year that some of our trees pollinate, and it causes many Austinites to suffer.
This is actually a misnamed phenomenon. It is not really a fever, and the trees that pollinate are not actually cedar trees, but rather a type of juniper tree. They are the trees that appear green year-round, and you can see they come right up to our backyard.
When I first moved to Austin in 1972, I was 17 years old. When I first heard about “cedar fever” I simply thought that these Texans were just a bunch of genetically deficient bunch of wimps. I arrogantly probably continued to think that for the next 14 or 15 years – until I also began to suffer from this allergy.
This year hasn’t been a particularly bad year for cedar fever, but I’m not one to go out and taunt Mother Nature.
Even though my blog post activities have dropped considerably, I have managed to stay pretty active with my photography. Last Thursday I took the day off of work to attend a Lightroom 4 seminar, where the presenter was Matt Kloskowski (one of Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Guys). Except for the January 9th rain, all of my photography has been indoors…
Now that the juniper trees are at the tail end of their pollinating season, it’s time to crawl out from the winter cave and enjoy the warm temperatures that have been prevailing here in Austin for the past month or so. It seems like every weekend in January, while the temperatures might have been very favorable, the constant gray clouds have pretty much killed any desires that I might have had to take a walk with my camera. It seems like all of the “pretty days” have been for me to observe from my office window, while I’ve been at work.
This is another view off of our patio. The bare tree on the right is a Bradford Pear tree. That is a fruitless variety, with magnificent white blossoms in the spring, and vibrant red leaves in the fall. As you can see, right now it is in “winter mode”, just like our yard grass.
That giant willow tree in my neighbor’s back yard doesn’t seem to ever shed its dead leaves until the week right before it puts out the new ones in the spring. The photo above made the giant willow tree the center of attention, but I thought it had too much of the pretty blue sky, so I took this next one aimed a bit lower.
That photo seems to summarize the state of the trees in Austin right now. The trees are all bare, except for the green cedar (juniper) trees. At least those cedar trees are no longer heavily laden with their rust colored pollen!
The Super Bowl is going to start in about 3 hours. We haven’t turned our TV on yet, and we don’t want to until 30 minutes before the kick-off. There is only so much pre-game hype that I can tolerate. No, instead, I’m going to head outside and take my 3 mile fitness walk and enjoy the beautiful day that we have today in Austin. To hell with the cedar fever!
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