It was the ultimate summer day – hot and humid and perfect for lazing in the lake.
After dinner the temperatures started to moderate as the sun, fat and heavy, began to settle in the western sky.
This called for an evening ride. Not too long, perhaps a couple of hours. Maybe one of the more usual routes – White Lake, Arnprior, Galletta, Kinburn, Pakenham (for an ice cream), and home.
The fact it was a well-known route meant that the scenery would be old hat, but I wasn’t riding to satisfy that sense tonight; I was riding to enjoy the various smells of the country when the air is still and the dew is starting to settle out.
Smell is the most powerful sense we have, with the average human being able to recognise thousands of different odours – perhaps not to give a name to all of them, but certainly to be able to state whether the smell is familiar or not, and maybe even place it in context of a place and time. And it need not be the dapper dude in the elevator who apparently bathed in cologne that triggers the sense; we can detect odours in dilutions as weak as 1 part per several billion parts of air. Powerful indeed.
And so with the promise of an ice cream in mind, I rode the loop, delighting in the cool pockets of sweetness of goldenrod in bloom, the freshness of new-mown hay drying in the fields, the lingering whiff of a passing skunk, the sharpness of barnyards and fields recently fertilized, and other familiar country scents denied to my fellow travellers ensconced in their air-conditioned cages.
It was a great night for smells … and motorcycling.