Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Aargh, it’s May!

And you may be saying to yourself, What? I love May! Flowers! Pretty weather! Not too hot!

And you are right! I sort of love May for all those reasons!

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But you know what else flowers in May, besides irises and cerastium and dianthus and cranesbills? And peonies and tulips, viburnums and lilacs, the first roses and the last narcissus?

Oaks, that’s what.

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These are strands of flowers. We don’t think of them as flowers because they aren’t showy, but if you look very closely at a fresh strand, you can see the floral parts. The reason they aren’t showy is that they aren’t meant to attract pollinators. Oaks are wind-pollinated. And now you could be excused for saying, AH HA, I bet she hates oak flowers because she is allergic to pollen! Good guess, but no. I did allergy shots for three years and now I LAUGH at pollen blowing around in the air.

No, the problem is: these strands of flowers fall on the ground, where they are swept up by any random Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who happen to dash around. Not only that, but residual pollen means the strands are a little bit sticky. Not very sticky, but enough to make them a pain to brush the HUGE quantities of strands that absolutely coat the dogs’ chests, bellies, and feet. Ish has a very heavy coat, especially on his chest. The fur there is about three inches long, just fabulous for collecting great masses of oak flowers.

So right now, my walking-the-dogs schedule has to involve not only an hour to let them run around like mad creatures, but half an hour to brush all the infuriating oak flowers out of their coats afterward. AARGH.

I grant you, though, the (showy) flowers are amazing in May.

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3 Comments Aargh, it’s May!

  1. Kristina

    I feel your pain. The Collie goes by the name “Velcro Dog” this time of year.

  2. Rachel

    They do look like oak trees crossed with dogs at this point! Yes, just like velcro. Also, they bring lots and lots of oak bits in and scatter them around on the floor. Half my life is brushing dogs and the other half is vacuuming.

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