Spent a good portion of my weekend trying to recover the yard. It's my annual futile attempt to bring life back into the yard after a cold, dry winter. I mow, fertilize, spray, trim, rake, water, rebuild beds. But given the bugs, the heat, the drought and two large, highly prolific dogs, I might be more successful if I just paved over the yard (like a co-worker did).
This year I am trying to build up one of the beds with stone so I can replant the Vinca that died out in the last freeze. Almost 1/2 way done.
In the back yard there is basically one huge Live Oak. This one has been my favorite, although it is a bit root bound. This is a very mature tree that covers most of the yard and has withstood several storms/hurricanes/bugs/squirrels. This tree stays green/full all winter long but around spring, drops all its leaves. Within about 2 weeks, the tree drops everything and starts sprouting new leaves. One of the byproducts of this oak are the catkins. Those are the fuzzy looking fronds that fall off the tree. Started about three weeks ago and it has been raining catkins ever since.
|The male catkins of post oak release millions of pollen grains when they flower every spring.|
Maybe it's the drought, maybe it was the hard freeze back in January, but we are being buried under a ton of these things. I clear off the back patio only to have it completely covered within a day or two. And every time the dogs go out, they seem to be covered in this stuff and bring it back in the house with them. We're having to vacuum twice a day just to keep the floors clear. On top of the mess, these produce a lot of oak pollen which is driving my hayfever through the roof. Was up on the roof Sunday trying to blow off the accumulation and had to use a surgical mask just to breath. These should pass in another week or two, but we really need a good rain and wind to clear the tree out. A few years back after Hurricane Ike, we had a bumper crop of acorns, but they weren't as annoying as these catkins.