Monday, June 10, 2013

Orchard grass

Orchard grass:

Hanville Svetz, the protagonist in Larry Niven's Flight of the Horse is dismayed, mortified and hurt when he realizes that the earth, the womb of his species, tried to kill him.  Hanville's lungs had evolved to breathe air with very high carbon dioxide.  A time machine takes him back 2000 years to a time when there is less than 0.3% CO2 in the atmosphere.  His lungs fail to trigger "Exhale/Inhale" so he ran out of oxygen.

Yesterday morning I encounter a similar situation.

I was walking around the "Estate" fertilizing newly planted trees.  Part of the time I was walking through orchard grass.  The seed heads of Orchard grass can grow to be chest high and it is the first grass to start pollinating.  And when it pollinates, it produces massive amounts ofpollen.  Brushing against them produces a yellow cloud.  Chest high is close to eye high.  I felt my eyes become itchy and knew exactly what the cause was.  

Then I did something stupid.

I rubbed/blotted them with the hem of the tee shirt I was wearing.  I try not to rub my eyes with my fingers because they get pretty dirty when I play outside.  So, if the seed heads are chest high, guess what they are batting against when I wade through them?  Yup, the front of my tee shirt.

This is what my eyes looked like 6 hours later...after 100mg of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and two rounds of Opcon A drops.
Who needs Botox to get rid of wrinkles?

I don't claim to be handsome but I am usually a little better looking than that.

Orchard grass with anthers (pollen producing organs) hanging out.
This picture shows the culprit.

I was not dismayed, mortified and hurt.  Ok, it did hurt.  Mostly I was glad I did not have to go into work in the evening.  Like the bumper sticker said:  You better be tough if you insist on being stupid.

PT update:

Goals met yesterday.  The swelling went down enough that I could walk around the block (three miles) with my wife.  50 PUs and 50 SUs achieved.

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