My heart raced when I saw the smoke billowing just off the back deck. Fire? Here in the hollow, in the middle of a drought, a fire quickly becomes a raging monster, destroying everything in its path, which is mostly cedar, and cedar EXPLODES in a fire, especially DRY cedar like we have now, and our house is surrounded by cedar...
But before I could finish these thoughts, I realized that what I saw wasn't really smoke, but cedar pollen. This time of year the cedar trees (technically juniper) explode even without fire. Well, the pollen pods explode, anyway. Gazing out over the tree tops, suddenly a POOF of smoke billows up, and you worry for a second (like I did) because it looks exactly like fire smoke, but it's gone as quickly as it came. And then you start sneezing.
My sneezing actually didn't start until I was in Walmart, but continued all the way through HEB, and plagued me until I was back home and could take double hits from my new antihistamine nosespray (bless Dr. Howland, our allergist, for recommending it!)
Dang. It's already Cedar Fever season in Austin again.