For people who know me; I don’t wash my car. The exterior does not concern me too much; so it is what it is. But today, I waked out and saw every car on the street covered completely in a little dust storm that just passed by.
I started noticing this on every single car parked in the street and in fact the entire neighborhood. I am talking about a very large area; and almost every surface is covered with a very fine “yellow golden” dust. That’s my first hint.
I have never seen this much pollen in my life. No wonder people develop allergy to this stuff; it’s kind of everywhere.
So, to solve the identity of this mystery pollen; I did pull out my Foldscope and was reward by the most simplest answer. Yes, this entire coat of yellow material on every car, in fact is pollen. Take a look..
Now, curiously – although many things are flowering right now – I can not identify where this is obviously coming from. I found one tree high up; most likely not spraying everything. My hunch is that this could be something like large pine trees around; but again – it’s just a hunch.
I want to leave you with a sense of wonder, and a mathematical back of the envelop calculation. Imagine covering the entire surface area of the car with an object that is 20unx20um in cross section area – how many pollen grains are we talking about. Now multiply that by every car that’s around in my area. My intuition tells me – that’s going to be billions of pollen (please try the calculation and leave a comment below) and it gives us a sense of scale that biology operates.
Happy pollen day.