EACH SPRING, TENDRILS of brightly coloured spruce pollen swirl over the surface of Bavaria’s Lake Sternberg. Unlike flowering plants, which are typically pollinated by insects, spruce trees rely on random wind currents to disperse their pollen. Obviously, this is a much less precise process, which means that vast quantities must be produced in order to enable successful reproduction. As a result much of the pollen ends up going astray, creating large deposits of thick yellow dust as seen here.
“Pollen from spruce and pine keep their structure in water, whereas other pollen bursts,” says Christian Bergmann from the German Pollen Information Service. “Large quantities are released when conditions are sunny, dry and a bit windy. Every year you often see pine and spruce pollen in the water – even in the Baltic Sea.”