Usually the pollen count here has diminished sharply by the time the hot, dry winds of late spring start to blow through Tucson. But this year winter lasted longer than usual and the mesquites and palo verdes are still in flower right now. And that means that my allergies are astonishingly bad. I'm taking steroids for both my nose and lungs. I'm alternating Claritin and Benadryl. But even with that personality-altering cocktail in my system, I keep having mild asthma attacks and, what's worse, the states of panic that accompany them. I never thought I'd wish for June to speed its arrival.