The reason comes to mind soon after I launch into today's ride, and try to reconcile the subtly hazy atmosphere with the low-humidity delight of the air rushing past. An extra dryness in the mouth provides the final clue. This is the low-budget "Disney version" of North Carolina's renowned pollen season.
The only other noteworthy event was a serpent lying, apparently lifeless, in the road as I started out. The vivid patterns somewhat resembled those of a rattlesnake -- but in copper tones. The subtle beast was gone an hour later, as I went up Wheats Valley Road. I may recognize it someday adorning a local lad's hat.