Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 

Pollen Cloud

A yellowish cloud rises on afternoon thermals and drifts for miles. It is spruce pollen released in warm spring weather here in Southeast Alaska.

A cloud of pollen rises from spruce trees.

Tree pollen has been coating everything from vehicles to spider webs for a few weeks. It has piled up in corners on the deck of the boat and has made yellow rings around puddles.

Pollen collected in the water at the edge of a lake. Doesn't it make fun patterns?

This doe has a yellow ring of pollen in each nostril.

The pollen has even accumulated in the nostrils of deer. The does have yellow pollen crust in their noses. The one above is in that patchy, awkward-looking, itchy stage of shedding, too, and her neck looks like she has just about scratched it raw. Sometimes it's not easy being a deer.

I don't know if the pollen interferes with a deer's excellent sense of smell.

This Sitka blacktail doe sees me, and is scent checking. Then she licked her nose and went back to eating.

Deer tongues only go so far in de-pollening the nostrils.

In eddies of the Thorne River there are swirls of the stuff. The ring of pollen on the rocks even shows that the river dropped an inch.

Male spruce flowers.

Warm, dry weather this year has made it a big pollen year, as happens once in awhile. The spruce trees are just about done sending out pollen now, though, and are on to the work of making female, seed bearing cones and firming up those soft, light green spruce tips.

The male flowers usually grow on lower branches and the female flowers on the upper branches.

Sitka spruce grow for 20 to 40 years before flowering.

That's enough spruce tidbits for today. What this whole post is actually about is the pretty eyes and eyelashes on that first doe. Okay, maybe it was about pollen, too.

Purple tinted spruce cones

Wishing you beautiful and fun observations in your day,

Alaska Beachcomber