Monday, June 20, 2016


As I drove home from babysitting my granddaughter Hannah I began to have an odor almost like the 5-10-5 fertilizer gardeners use to increase their crop yield and began to think of other smells and aromas that I’ve encountered as I’ve driven along. I discovered what was making the smell later when I got behind slow moving vehicles. The state highway department was spraying for weed control along the roadway. The smell wasn’t all that unpleasant.
Other smells that have recently wafted through my open windows were the sweet smells of blossoming lilacs, mock orange, and fields of clover. Freshly mowed fields of hay and newly mown lawns give off a pleasant smell, but not all of my friends with hay fever will agree. Apple and cherry blossoms share their fragrance with me.
In the fall and winter, I’ve smelled the smoke from wood fires, cherry, oak, and apple wood. The smoke of coal fired furnaces take me back to my childhood days when the coal eating behemoth lurked in the corner of the basement with heat radiating out through its octopus of duct arms.
The smells of manure freshly spread to fertilize fallow fields were a part of my growing up in the country and is still a part of the farming community. It isn’t the most pleasant smell, but for some reason it changes when I enter a barn and the aromas of the molasses, the chop feed, hay, and the animals below mix into not an unpleasant mélange.
There are some lakes and ponds that give off a smell of a musty and sometimes fishy aroma while other pond water has a fresh washed fragrance as crystal water pours in from a stream. Along many roads, pines and hemlocks add a pleasant, pungent fragrance to the air.
Heat increases on the summer days and I can smell the tar seeping up through the cracks and gravel coating on the roads. Diesel fumes belch out of some vehicles in black clouds and I drop back. It is enough that I have phantom smells of exhaust fumes or hot plastic from the bleeds in my brain. Smells are an integral part of living.

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