Saturday, May 31, 2008

So Much Pollen

There's a B-17 visiting the area this weekend, giving people expensive rides. Flying the B-17 in battle in WWII is an example of extreme terrifying machine drama. It makes me shudder to imagine the adrenaline/excitement/fear of the guys who crewed those planes in war. There are some of these veterans left, and they come out to see the plane and relate stories like this: After one mission, Knight had to land his B-17 with a shot-up tire and one engine out. But he kept his 11-man crew safe. “The co-pilot and I, we really had to manhandle that thing to a stop with brute strength,” Knight said. “But those are tough planes. I’ve seen some that were nearly shot in two come in and land, and the belly would just be bouncing up and down, the ball turret and the gunner gone, of course.” This reminds me that Memorial day has just passed.

So I've had my ears tuned for the sound of huge flying piston engines. I spotted the plane a few times on my way to Arden this morning to pick up some free firewood, and noticed the sky was hazy and yellow. I was parked in the person's yard for about 20 minutes loading up the big old logs. When I said thanks and got back in the car, the windshield had a noticeable new film of pollen on it. On the way back I took the parkway, and the long range views were also now yellow and hazy like the view of the plane. Then I looked at the car ahead of me and saw that it was kicking up clouds of pollen as if we were driving on a dirt road. Amazing. I've never seen that before. That's a lot of pollen.

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