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Pollens and Plagues

“It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.” ― John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga

Apparently this talented wordsmith never attempted the combat associated with surviving a southern spring! Shifting seas of pollen on the roadways, a plague of every imaginable biting, dive-bombing, and stinging insect known to man, and temperature shifts that trick the immune system into committing suicide still do not deter true southerners from forcing themselves to get out there and enjoy Spring’s promise of things to come.

With all of the obstacles and challenges associated with enjoying a southern spring, it is still filled with the promise of greener pastures and new life bursting forth to embrace their time in this place, this slice of heaven we know as the south. It is a time to use cookouts to rekindle the friendships that have been placed on the back burner during winter and to tear into the rich soil that will no doubt yield dividends for the dinner table. So here are five tips to help you better enjoy the splendor that can be a southern Spring:

Lighting bugs ain’t the only pretty things during a spring night.

A unique way to illuminate those darker evenings before summer arrives is to place various colored glow sticks into full clear water bottles. The water will intensify the glow of the sticks to produce a soft radiance that is perfect for low key outdoor entertaining. For a more dramatic effect, experiment with various combinations of light stick colors and water colored with food coloring

MacGyver would be proud!

One of the more painful aspects of spring outdoor living is stinging bug bites. This can be avoided by taking proactive steps. Constructing a homemade insect trap is surprisingly easy and uses everyday items found in every home. First take any clear plastic bottle that has a cone shaped top (i.e. water bottles, 2 liter soda bottles, milk containers) and cut the top off. Next, insert the top upside down (cone shape down) into the neck and secure with tape or staples. Then attach string to the top for hanging. The final step is to add the bait which can be a variety of household consumables such as a vinegar/sugar mix, laundry liquid soap mixed with water, or just plain sugar water. Hang this trap and be mesmerized as the stinging insects flock to and meet their demise. Be sure to empty of deceased insects and re-bait frequently.

Doesn’t that go in your hair?

This is a tip I actually learned from dear old Dad. To combat gnats and no-see-ums that are impervious to traditional bug sprays, take equal parts water and Avon Skin-So-Soft and place it in an empty pump hairspray bottle. This mysterious concoction when generously sprayed on the skin forms a barrier against this nerve fraying pests. The hairspray bottle is just an added bonus to let others think you have finally gone completely off your rocker just as they have predicted countless time by spraying your whole body with, what they assume to be, sticky hairspray.

These aren’t your momma’s ice cubes!

For a unique, creative way to keep beverages ice cold without watering them down, try using an assortment of frozen fruit instead of ice. This will work with any type of drink and has the additional value of infusing a delicate flavor of the fruit you choose into your favorite beverage. Some suggestions are frozen grapes into wine, frozen berries in water or soda, and lemon slices in sweet tea. The possibilities and combination are endless, go wild and try them all!

Honey, pick me up some honey.

This last tip is widely known, but I felt well worth mentioning due to the unending, saturating waves of pollen covering everything south of twenty this time of year! To help your body better ward off the negative results of being exposed to such a vast amount of pollen, you should take a teaspoon of honey that is grown locally in your area. This will give you some relief from the pollen over time and in some places you can actually purchase bee pollen which is reported to not only help with allergies to pollen, but with a multitude of aliments as well. I would make sure that I bought it in the jar and didn’t attempt to steal it from the bees myself.

Hopefully these few tips and tricks will assist you in your enjoyment of the ups and downs known as a southern spring. Hopefully we will see you out there with your hairspray bottles, beehives, and frozen grape sangria!!! Have fun and be safe.

You may also like:

Cracked Cookies

The Southern Gentleman Part One

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