Catkin Clouds

I like Charleston. I really do. But I’m finding I don’t like the catkins around here.

Heck, I didn’t even know what catkins were until recently. Pictured at left, they’re the male part of the pollenation process of oak trees (apparently),  though I know them only as the clouds of seedy pods littering my yard and staining anything they get onto. 

I raked today — must still admit to being peeved about raking leaves in the spring — and I picked up bags of these catkins.  At one point, they were so piled up that I was shoveling them with a snowshovel into trash bags. Gallons and gallons of them.  And of course they puffed away a dusty choking fog of pollen as I did so. Dreadful.

I swear they’re worse this year, too. I remember them last year, but it was nothing like this. And the worst part? As I was raking there were still more falling when the wind blew.

I like our live oaks. No, more than that I love them. But this catkin crap? Not cool, Mother Nature. Not cool at all.


  1. C. E. Bollinger

    I feel your pain, Mike. But it’s the price we pay for acorns. Oaks, like most nut trees, flower and fruit more heavily some years than others. I’m thinking we may be in for a bumper crop of acorns this fall.

    My house sits beneath the shelter of a mighty Northern Red Oak (it’s about 75 feet tall. During big acorn years, the roof is pounded intermittently by falling fruits. The worst of it, of course, comes on windy autumn nights. 🙂

  2. Guess I need to look up how to make acorn flour in advance of the deluge, eh?

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