Yellow is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair — Pine Pollen Season in the South

pine pollen coating Working in my yard this weekend, pulling weeds and mulching the flower beds, I found myself humming this old folk song “Yellow is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair”. Not because my love’s hair is blonde in the morning (it is salt-and-pepper all the time), but because EVERYTHING was yellow, dusted with a thick coat of what my botanist friend calls tree sperm.

Pine pollen — we all more or less hate it. Everything looks dull. It clings to all surfaces; cars seem to be a particular magnet. With a small gust of wind, you can see it billowing in sulfurous clouds of gold. Despite our general annoyance — guess what?  Pine pollen is supposed to be good for you!  Seriously.
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Paper, Plastic, or Bring Your Own?

Every time I check out at a grocery store, I have a soul-searching moment. Should I use plastic, paper, or bring my own reusable bags? Plastic bags have a long-standing, well-documented bad rap: they add litter, they choke and poison wildlife, they don’t break down in landfills or in oceans, they add to our demand for oil, and they aren’t easy to recycle. Many countries, several US cities, and some large chain stores have banned them. And, as far as I know, no one yet has banned paper bags.
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