Cedar Fever Starts Here
THERE’S YELLOW “SMOKE” WAFTING OFF Juniperus ashei trees throughout the Hill Country this time of year. Stand on a precipice above the trees, and you might catch the male trees releasing their pollen into the wintery sky like coral spawning into an airy sea.
Of course, sufferers of “cedar fever” will want to avoid that experience altogether. Nothing about it seems beautiful at all. But, here’s a chance to get a close up view without having to leave your desk or grab a hanky.
This is a beautiful macro photo of a juniper microstrobilus (consider it botanical term a gift you can wow your friends with). The microstrobilus is the male “cone” of the juniper. Pollen hangs in sacs (called microsporangia if you are keeping a notebook) from the cone’s brown, umbrella-like structures.
This photo doesn’t show the pollen sacs, because this microstrobilus has already released its pollen, to the great consternation of all you allergy sufferers out there…
For a (potentially upsetting) view of pollen billowing into the air, check this out: