Friday, August 01, 2008

If You Can Smell It....

I've had a very easy time of it with my hayfever recently having essentially given up dairy products over the summer, I've even been able to stop taking any medication. This has opened up , or perhaps just reminded me, of how important and interesting following your nose can be.
In the development I'm living in I've noticed that I can smell when people are watering the grass and that this has a subtly different smell to watering flowers. When I was in the woods at the weekend I noticed a strong smell of pine, even though it is not a major part of the woods. I guess the volatile vapours in the sap carry quite a way. This was combined with the hot damp smell of the forest floor when moisture is trapped by the canopy and the whole environment heats up like an oven.
Even weather brings a change in smell - it isn't so much that you can smell thunder but the change in wind, air pressure and air temperature do help you realise when a storm is on the way.
Of course, there are many uses of this sense in food gathering and possibly in hunting or tracking too. What has really come home to me though is how it can help you find water or tell what's going on.