Friday, 21 August 2009

Just for the smell of it….

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.


  1. I'm off to the high country in the morning and as I read this I found that I began to anticipate the smells that I will encounter. There is a chance of rain which will enhance the smells.

    The morning will bring a valued relief from a tiring week. Thanks for giving me something to look forwrd to.

  2. AZD: You're welcome. Have a great ride!

  3. i love the smells of it...!! thank you canajun. and have a great ride azhd.

  4. Canajun, loved this post. Your description was so good, I could visualize the smells - yes, the sense of smell is powerful!

  5. the sense of smell allows us to distinguish between poop and it is very important Mr. Ice cream man...thanks for including the link, cause as I was reading the post I was saying to myself, self didn't this guy Canajun go on a similar ice cream run not too lond ago and lo an be hold...I cliked on the link and it confirmed I wasn't senile did do a similar run before..
    excellent write up...when we go riding...the G/F is enamored with the smell of manure in the fields...makes her horny

  6. Baron - too much information... lol

  7. Funny thing, I took my wife on her first ride as a passenger this past Saturday. One of the things she said was how she noticed she could smell so much more than when in a car.

  8. Danny, I think it's one of the under-rated joys of motorcycling - except when passing a chicken farm.
    Hope the ride went well and your wife is beginning to feel a bit more comfortable.

  9. What a write up, well you have sure convinced me to go out for a ride, I love the way you write, I was there right with you...

  10. Linda...

    Thanks for the compliment. Compared to Turkey we have so few good riding days here we have to get everything out of them we can.


  11. chicken farms, dairies, tire recyclers, toxic waste dumps, ... sorry couldnt

  12. Ms. M. - Hey, I didn't say it would always be a good smell! It's all part of the fabric.... even if sometimes you're tempted to ride way over the limit for a few hundred yards or so. :)


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