I love oak trees. Anyone who spends any time near me while also outside knows this. I argue about what kind of oaks are on my street; I collect oak leaves on trips to the country and draw them in my notebook. I worry about sudden oak death crossing the sierra nevada mountains and creeping this way. Oaks are fascinating--they produce hybrids that are fertile, and so they can quickly move away from standard. The one we share with Steve and Jerry (in their yard, but it shades our front door) is at least part black oak--but Kristin & Paul's in the front yard are also at least part black oak. I examine acorns and (really unnecessarily) correct people when they talk to me about them. I like them.
And now I'm allergic to them. The pollen, that is. I'd had this hunch for a while--I knew I get some contact dermatitis when I cut the grass in the summertime, no big deal. But my spring allergies have gotten worse the longer I've lived on Halliday (not exactly--I had my tonsils out in 1998, and had no problems at all that following spring. It started to slowly decline after that). It wasn't mold--a moldy basement will make my nose twitch, but never gives me those other allergy symptoms, like itchy eyes, itchy mouth, dark circles under my eyes. And exhaustion. I keep thinking it's a cold, or the flu. But it isn't. And it magically started on Friday. That's when the oak pollen jumped from "low" to "very high." Oak trees all over my block. Oak trees in the park. Oak, oak, oak.
I slept sitting up last night on the couch; Sunday during the day, well, I didn't see much of the day because I was sleeping sitting up on the couch. Loser. And this spring has the added bonus of giving me eczema on my hands. And because my whole system is going nuts over oak (ha), everything else is driving me crazy as well. Dust in the closet. Chrysanthemums in the flower garland for church. The soap in my shower. Everything is driving my skin crazy. I want to peel off the top layer of the backs of my hands. Bleeding would be preferable. But I'm using eucerin instead.
And then, to add insult to injury, this morning I woke up with a spider bite on my leg. Only I had this vague memory of this happening before, and it not being a spider bite, but some chigger or curious rye eating insect. A quick google search produced the name; pyemotes, and a lovely picture of what I hope is a man's torso, covered in pyemotes bites. I only have one, and I don't have that much hair, but that's what my bite looks like. Great. Since I was up...I read more of the article. Guess where they incubate their little pyemotes eggs. In pin oak leaf galls.