Aesthetically, this is one of the year's most-underrated periods, with the still-bare swollen with buds and tinted ever so subtly.
But it also signals the onset of the torment season for tree-allergy sufferers. The trees are sending out their reproductive pollen, and about a million innocent people in the region may get caught in the cross-fire.
The Asthma Center's Dr. Donald J. Dvorin, the region's official pollen-counter, has begun posting the daily reports, and you can find his summary here.
Dvorin uses a Burkard Trap Device to capture pollen grains in a trap, and examines the tiny prisoners under a microscope. His counts are estimates of how many grains would pass through a space about the size of a refrigerator in a 24-hour period.