But the flakes are not frozen water, rather a fine yellow mist of pine pollen.
This is the time of year I dread: sinus hell.
Despite the fact that the weather is beautiful - mid-70s with a gentle breeze - you cannot open the windows to your house or car because it will be covered in a fine yellow film of pine pollen.
When the wind blows, little mini tornados - dust devils - whirl about in all their yellow glory and I have to be on my best behavior or else I will be crushed by it all; the whirling devils a constant reminder of the evil that lurks outside my closed windows.
I've been vigilant in taking my Zyrtec and even got a prescription to Flonase filled just as an extra percaution to ward off the rhinitis and sinusitis that I'm prone to get this time of year. My head is still mad congested - and I can hear my sinuses whistle and squeak when I blow my nose - but at least I can function and don't feel like total horseshit.
It's important that I keep my wits about it all right now as:
a.) it's the busiest time of the year for the catering world of which is my sole means of income
b.) my band - the Chestpains (www.thechestpains.com) - have our debut gig April 23 at Kings in Raleigh (www.kingsbarcade.com)