Maize and blue: Pollen covers Tahoe |

Maize and blue: Pollen covers Tahoe

Amanda Fehd
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Jesse James washes pollen from his truck Monday afternoon. James said he washes the truck every other day because of the pollen.

Around 1 p.m. on Monday, Ed Glenn and his wife Charmaine were driving by Edgin Coin-Op Car Wash when Ed said: “Pull in here, we gotta wash this car.”

The two were visiting from the Bay Area to enjoy the Harveys Resort Casino rooftop fireworks view.

“It’s a little embarrassing,” he said. “We park it for an hour and it looks like it’s been parked in a field for a month. It was just covered with it.”

Pollen has dusted the basin as it does annually, covering cars, porches and parking lots in a thin layer of yellow. It brings with it sneezing and sniffling, as well as a lot of sweeping and washing.

The Glenns were full of praise for Tahoe, and Charmaine said the pollen was not nearly as bad as up north in Oregon.

Portland has the worst pollen in the country right now, according to, which provides forecasts and ratings for different ZIP codes in the country.

South Shore has moderate pollen right now, according to the Web site, rating 4.8 on a scale of 12, where 8-12 is high. Its forecast predicts pollen this week increasing steadily from 4.8 to 5.5.

That’s high enough to cause symptoms in allergy sufferers, according to the site.

“It’s hitting people really bad now, so that’s our top seller now, those homeopathic formulas,” Stacey Ballard, a vitamin salesperson at Grass Roots Natural Foods at the “Y.”

Homeopathy uses small doses of natural substances to stimulate the body’s natural defenses.

Ballard said a lot of people are finding certain vitamin supplements and alternative remedies helpful as well.

There is no cure for allergies, but building up the immune system and reducing exposure can help, according to

This year’s pollen appears worse to many.

“I haven’t seen it this bad,” said Michael Keller, a real estate agent and property manager who has lived in South Shore a couple of years. “Every time I get into my car, I have to dust it off.”

Keller was washing down his restored, red, convertible Volkswagen Karmann Ghia at the car wash Monday after noticing the yellow dust accumulating on his canvas top.


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