Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
April 17, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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April 17, 2019

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Page 2B April 17, 2019 Reporter MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson 1 Since March, pollen has made its presence known across the Monroe County coun- tryside. As such, nowadays puddles of rainwater rimmed in yellow are common sights. Polleh blankets everything loc t6 i outdoors including our treks and shrubs, vehicles, decks and outdoor furniture. When we walk about our yards, our shoes are soon covered with the pale yellow, flour- like substance. For those of us that suffer from pollen allergies, every day we suffer from sneezing, cou g runny noses and clogged sinuses. TERRY Consequently, it is easy to be convinced pollen has few, if any, redeeming values. In truth, it is a valu- able nuisance. A number of Native Amer- ican tribes thought highly of pollen; some even used pol- len in religious ceremonies. Some of these rituals entailed sprinkling pollen on wor- shippers' heads and pouring it into their mouths. Pollen is essential in the production of scores of commercially grown crops. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia place the annual economic value of pollen at $360 million. Pollen is spread by the wind, animals, and to a lesser extent water. We are all familiar with animal pollination. An animal that spreads W. JOHNSON pollen from one plant to another is called a pollinator. The list of some of Georgia's key pollinators includes insects (moths, butterflies, wasps, bees, beetles, and ants), birds and spiders. Without the un- witting aid of such animals, many plants would have a difficult, if not impossible, 109D Patrol Road 478-994-991 1 apply and manage your accotolt onl#;e A bird left this interesting imprint when it took flight after alighting Monroe County home. (Photo/Terry Johnson) time reproducing. In fact, "these critters help pollinate more than 80 percent of the world's flowering plants. The pollen currently causing problems for pollen allergy sufferers comes from plants primarily pollinated by the wind. The main culprits are hardwood trees, such as sweetgums, oaks, hickories, pecans, ashes, elms and mulberries, to name but a few. To a lesser extent, early season grasses are also float- ing about. These pollen grains are extremely small. Hardwood tree pollen granules average only 20 microns in diameter and cannot be seen as they drift about. In fact, they are so tiny they can slip past the fibers in a surgical mask, thus rendering the masks of little help to those seeking relief from the pollen in the air. Wind-blown pollen can travel unbelievably long distances. Ragweed pollen, which is produced later in the year, has been recovered l Justin & April'sPainting on a trash can lid covered in pollen at a some 15,000 feet above the ground and sailing along in the air up to 400 miles out in the ocean. The trees generating the pollen that is causing so much misery for people with pollen allergies right now are among the most valuable sources of food for wildlife. Take oaks, for example. Throughout the country they are rated as premier wildlife food plants. Over 90 species of wildlife eat acorns. In addition, oaks serve as host plants for 557 species of moths and butterflies. A number of arthropods actually feed on pollen, in- cluding some spiders, mites, beetles (including ladybird beetles), flies and bees. It should be noted ruby- throated hummingbirds and all but one species (the zebra heliconian) of the butterflies seen in Monroe County do not eat pollen. Airborne pollen causes the most problems for allergy suffers. With tha ; in mind, those of us that suffer from the malady can benefit from knowing when pollen levels are highest. Botanists tell us plants open their pollen sacs most often between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. After :': the sacs have opened and the '" pollen has dried out, roughly 60 percent of the pollen granules . are released into the air from 6 a.m. and 10 am. Pollen is not released into the air if the relative humidity is 80 percent or higher. . Soon the first phase of the pollen season will be over. - Thi however does not mean the one in five adults and one in three children in Georgia that suffer from tree- pollen allergies are out of the woods. The pollen seasons for softwood trees such as pines, grasses and weeds are yet to come. When it is all said and done, knowing pollen is indeed extremely valuable to plants, humans, and wild- life alike does not make it " any easier dealing with the ," discomfort felt by those suf- fering from pollen allergies. Terry Johnson is retired ; Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endan- gered Wildlife Programl He has written the informative column 'Monroe Outdoors' for the Reporter for many years. His book, Journey , to Discovery," is available at The Reporter. Email him at . LANGFORD ALLERGY. LLC Dr, Jeff Langford EXPERIENCE '& EXPERTISE IN ADULT & PEDIATRIC ALLERGY, ASTHMA, & IMMUNOLOGY 201 Tiff College Drive Forsyth, GA 31029 Call (418) 787-4728 MONROE COUNTY HOSPITAL 88 Martin Luther King Jr Drive Forsyth, GA 31029 Call (478) 994-2521 MEYER CARDIOLOGY, PC Dr. Thomas Meyer, Cardiologist Monroe Regional Medical Complex 120 N. Lee Street Forsyth, GA 31029 Comprehensive Cardiac Services Call (478) 745-7456 PIEDMONT ORTHOPEDIC COMPLEX 4660 Riverside Park Blvd Macon, GA 31210 Mort - Fri: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Call (478) 474-2114 Toll Free (800) 338-5141 Local Health Professionals specializing in keeping the MIND & BODY in the best shape possible. SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTH CARE WALKER CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC Dr. Steven Walker 255 nil College Dr Forsyth, GA Mon - Wed, Fri: 9-6 Thur Sat. by Apt Physiologic Therapeutics Chiropractic Sports Physician Call (478) 994-1562 BRANDON S. PINSON, DVM Animal Medical Clinic of Forsyth 60 South Jaickson Street Forsyth, GA 31029 Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm Sat: 8:00 am- t2:30 prn Call (478) 994-4986 FORSYTH INTERVENTION SERVICES & TRAINING Anger Management, Substance Abuse, General Counseling and More! 32 East Main St.o Forsyth; GA 31029 Call (470) 236-3478 CALDWELL VETERINARY HOSPITAL, LLC Butler Caldwell, DVM 951 Hwy 41 South Forsyth, GA 31029 Call (478) 994-8228 EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE IN ADULT & PEDIATRIC ALLERGY, ASTHMA, & IMMUNOLOGY DEENA HOLLIMAN SMITH, DMD 205 Medical Court Forsyth, GA 31029 Mon - Thu: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm General Dentistry Call (478) 994-1171 PRIMARY IDET CARE Affordable Pet Care On The Move! Dr. Kevin Smith Mobile.Veterinarian Forsyth, GA 31029 Call (478) 973-7733 201 Tiff College Drive Forsyth, GA 31029 GEORGIA DERMATOLOGY Russell Harris, MD Deborah Moore, PA-C 101 Martin Luther King Jr Drive Forsyth, GA 31029 Call (478) 994-5281 t