I took advantage of the extended daylight to walk on the golf course after dinner tonight. The extra distance from the street makes it a quiet walk and while I'm usually aware of the sights and sounds found there, it was the smells that drew my attention tonight. Clearly, the nose knows summer has arrived as I could smell...
...freshly cut grass. More than one homeowner was taking advantage of the extra minutes of sunshine to finish up some yardwork in the relative coolness of early evening. Relative is the key word there. It was still warm but nothing like the 100+ heat index we had at noon and it went up from there.
...grilled meat. Saturday night + summer = the perfect excuse for a cookout. Our grill had cooled by the time I walked but my mouth still watered as the scent of someone else's dinner wafted through the air.
...chlorine. A pool party here, a family swim there. Nothing says summer quite like time in the pool. And while I love the quick cool down the water offers from the mid-day heat, there's something deliciously indulgent about an evening swim.
...cigar. Yuck! If I had a cigar-smoker in the house, I'd make him do it outside too. I held my breath as I walked past that yard.
...wet ground. We're in a traditional summertime weather pattern where the heat of the day produces a thunderstorm almost every afternoon. Sometimes its a quick shower but the last couple of days it's been a pretty good downpour. Low-lying areas with lots of shade have a distinct earthy scent. It's not bad, just earthy.
...watermelon. It brought a smile to my face. Not because I really like watermelon (I can take it or leave it) but because it made me think of sitting on the back steps eating watermelon as a kid and spitting the seeds out into the yard. Clearly someone in the neighborhood had enjoyed this traditional fruit of summer outdoors for me to be able to smell it.
...snakes. OK, so maybe snakes don't have an odor but I still think I could smell them as I walked along the swampy area between the 13th and 17th fairways. Or maybe it's just that I know that area is a favorite snake hangout. I had to walk with one eye watching where I was going and one looking sideways for snakes in case any decided to come out and say "hi."
...fabric softener. I suppose the smell of clean laundry coming through a dryer vent isn't unique to summer but when the days are hot and long, the dirty clothes just seem to multiply. At least that's the way it is at my house so it must be the same for everyone. Sometimes evenings are a time to catch up on chores like that.
...nighttime air. It was nearly dark when I reached the house. Before turning the handle on the door, I turned and took one last deep breath. The humid air was heavy with the sweet scent of my neighbor's neatly-tended flower beds mixed with the unkept tangle of the woods beyond.
Welcome, Summer...it's nice to see smell you.