Pine Pollen on the Ponds!


Living on a lake shore is living on “the edge” between the forest and the lake ecosystems.

The sharp contrasts while observing from “the edge” amplifies our perceptions of the seasonal changes in nature.

This time each year New Gloucester’s Sabbathday Lake (a “Maine great pond) gets nature’s pollen treatment. 

The north sure of Sabbathday Lake on June 19th
Photo: Tom Driscoll

Sabbathday is surrounded by a deep ring of very tall white pine trees which is very evident by the amount of pine pollen that falls into the water and drifts onto the shoreline

In the fall you can observe the seasonal change in wind direction on the surface of the lake as it changes quickly from the summer southerlies to the winter westerlies, usually like clockwork on Labor Day weekend.

Winter really arrives when the lake finally freezes over; and in turn, spring is here for sure on the day when the ice is finally “out” (Usually in late April at Sabbathday).

This week in the woods and fields everywhere, we are noticing the sticky yellow pine pollen covering everything, like, the car windshields!

But the arrival of high pollen season is most evident at the lakes and ponds.

Concentrated pine pollen along the north shore in about 6″ of clear water
Photo: Tom Driscoll

Maine’s prevailing summertime winds are from the south.  On a north shore of any Maine pond or lake, southerly winds are welcome for the cooling effect, and keeping the mosquitoes down.

But in the late spring that also means that the north shores everywhere are thick with pine pollen, like frosting on a cake.

Tom Driscoll

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