Isn’t it cute? This teeny tiny hoverfly is munching on some pollen. Oops, some fell onto its wings. The giant ragweed is creating so much pollen, I could see little clouds wafting across my path when I went for a walk this morning. And when I came home my blue jeans were covered in bright yellow splotches. An allergy report last week measured the amount of ragweed pollen at 220 gr/m3. Yipes.
Guilt by Association
I was taught growing up that goldenrod caused people to suffer these terrible fall allergies. Not so. Apparently, goldenrod’s pollen is so heavy the plant relies on insects for pollination rather than the wind. A case of guilt by association: ragweed and goldenrod do bloom around the same time each year and with its showy flowers, goldenrod was the plant that got noticed; meanwhile … the plain looking ragweed was chuckling to itself like some mad super-villain.
This misunderstanding reminds me of a recent kerfuffle in my neighbourhood. Sad to say a number of cats went missing while on their nightly patrols. Assumptions were hastily formed and accusations were made. Specifically, the local coyote got blamed. Fortunately, the fox got a free pass. I am not sure why people will tolerate foxes but not coyotes but so it goes. Foxes get better press I suppose.
Since then, some of the missing cats have strolled on back to their homes and slightly chagrined owners — but not before some residents called Wildlife Services to make complaints about the wild and terrifying coyote. I feared the worse.
Thankfully, Wildlife Service’s response was sane and rational. They reminded people to keep their cats indoors — especially during twilight hours. They also shared some other common sense tips to help us all co-exist peacefully. Whew. I was so worried they were going to send in an assassin. Or worse: a convoy of MRAPs, flame throwers and the AustinPD.
When I first moved here and adopted our cat I was given this advice from the animal shelter: don’t ever let Pyewackett wander at night. The worker wasn’t concerned about coyotes. She said that they had some good documentation that many cats — especially kittens — in our neighbourhood had fallen prey to owls!
It would take a pretty big owl to win a wrestling match against our overweight cat but some things are best not left to chance.