Aug 21 2009
We’ve had a spate of hot, humid weather that’s finally going to break this weekend. I shouldn’t complain – after all it’s August – but I’m no lover of heat and humidity and my nose tells me it’s time for a change.
My nose? Well, I have a pretty good sense of smell. Too good at times. I love the scents of honeysuckle blooming, crushed mint leaves, warm pine needles, rain in the distance and damp earth at the end of winter. (Remember the first day you smell the earth in spring?)
Right now the hot, soupy air is great for holding smells but the hotter it gets the more unpleasant some of those smells become. I’ve been forced to think of this when, out on a walk, my nose suddenly detects spoiling food in a nearby garbage can or dog poo next to the sidewalk. I give those spots a wide berth but the worst smells are hard to escape … the whiffs of something dead in the bushes.
Fortunately turkey vultures have an excellent sense of smell and they love this stuff. On my hikes I see them soaring overhead, sniffing the breeze, looking for the source of the smells I recoil from.
I hope they find that dead something-in-the-bushes. They shouldn’t have much trouble. It’s been fine weather for vultures.
(photo of a turkey vulture at Shaver’s Creek by Marcy Cunkelman)