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#55348 - 06/09/19 12:14 PM white particles
tarheel1 Offline


Registered: 06/09/19
Posts: 3
Loc: North Carolina
LAST September 11 my wife and I attempted unsuccessfully to hike the main trail in a day. I blame our failure on high winds that day. gust were up to 40 to 60 mph. Of course being in our 60's may have played a small roll. My question is about the thousands of small white particles that were blowing in the wind. I assume they were blowing off of trees or bushes. Has anyone else experienced this and is it a seasonal thing? Some people wore what appeared to surgical masks so they must have known about these particles. I had not read about this before and the year before we hiked there the same time of year and did not notice them.

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#55357 - 06/09/19 05:50 PM Re: white particles [Re: tarheel1]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7907
Loc: Fresno, CA
I'm guessing they were some sort of seeds from the deciduous trees/bushes in the area. Think of cottonwoods -- that's why they are named that. I think the willows along the trail may have cottony seeds that would release in September, too.

I'm getting one of these for sun protection, and it would help with dust, cottony seeds, etc, too: https://www.amazon.com/Neck-Gaiter-Face-...T04RX8&th=1

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#55366 - 06/10/19 09:02 AM Re: white particles [Re: Steve C]
tarheel1 Offline


Registered: 06/09/19
Posts: 3
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks for the reply. I'm pretty sure you are right. We are trying to hike the Whitney trail again in September so I may buy one of those items you linked. Thanks again.

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#55370 - 06/10/19 01:57 PM Re: white particles [Re: tarheel1]
sumptimwong Offline


Registered: 03/15/19
Posts: 28
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I too have noticed these cottony seeds in the Sierras and have attempted, unsuccessfully, to study them. As soon as I think I have a good grasp on one, they somehow morph into a colorless liquid just as quickly as I have captured one in my fingers. I'm uncertain about the long term effects of these seeds on my health, so I often wear gloves when I think I may be exposed to them.

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#55373 - 06/10/19 03:52 PM Re: white particles [Re: sumptimwong]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7907
Loc: Fresno, CA
sumptim... I think you are confusing the white cottony seeds of October with those of September. grin

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#55378 - 06/11/19 12:16 AM Re: white particles [Re: tarheel1]
WandrrngNotLost Offline


Registered: 06/06/19
Posts: 2
Loc: T1N R4W MDB&M
Could it have been ash particles from a wildland fire? Had plenty of large ones last year.

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#55615 - 07/02/19 06:37 PM Re: white particles [Re: WandrrngNotLost]
JDubs Offline


Registered: 07/02/19
Posts: 1
Loc: CA
That would be my guess. It was raining ash all across the state all the way to CO.

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