A Favorite Smell


1960s: blend of petro- ‘relating to rocks’ (the smell is believed to be caused by a liquid mixture of organic compounds that collects in the ground) and ichor.


Well, okay, but that doesn’t tell me what ichor is.  A little further searching tells me:   ichor ((Greek mythology) liquid that flows in the veins of gods in place of blood).

Huh.  Somehow that’s not very glamorous.

However,  that smell of rain after a dry spell is one of my all-time favorite smells.  I had no idea there was a word for it.

Image result for petrichor

I remember, living in Minneapolis, the incredible refreshment of rain  after a long, dry, humid spell.  The concrete streets and sidewalks seemed to soak up the rain like thirsty plants do.  The grass and the earth woke up, giving off a wonderful aroma.  Even the leaves on the trees smelled different.

Our street was lined with big old trees.  I loved pulling a leaf off of a tree after the rain stopped, and just holding it to my nose for a few minutes while I enjoyed the smell.

I still love rain.  I love clouds, and I love thunder.  Lightning? Not so much, because it’s dangerous.  But I do like to watch when it’s far enough away to not be a threat.  Such power in the skies!  The wind that accompanied those storms seemed to blow all the heat, dust, and humidity away, and after the storm the sky would be heartbreak blue, with maybe just a wisp of a cloud now and then.

And now I feel like bursting into song:


RDP: Petrichor

I Love Clouds


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


I love clouds. Always have. They’re beautiful.  They provide shade.  They provide life-giving rain. They provide entertainment for people who like to see pictures in the sky. They provide snow, which provides nitrogen to enrich the soil.

Sometimes clouds are scary.  Thunderheads can mean a rainstorm, or a tornado. They are accompanied, often, by high winds, thunder, and lightning.  It’s probably a good idea to stay near shelter when these guys come roaring through the neighborhood.

Growing up in Minnesota farm country, I had a fascination and a healthy respect for hail storms. The clouds would turn an ugly green/yellow, and you knew there was trouble.

Wizard of Oz, anyone?  Those funnels are nothing to play around with. The noise really is like an old-fashioned freight train bearing down on you. The winds are immense, and if you’re smart you go find a shelter until things settle down. I just want to emphasize here that this really is what it looks like.  Chilled a farmer’s heart, for sure, knowing he could lose all his crops in a matter of minutes.  The colors here are not exaggerated.  It’s eerie.

I remember one time when a couple of tornadoes traveling in tandem ripped through St. James lake, dividing it like Moses lifting his rod over the Red Sea.  Of course, the water flowed right back as the twisters danced through, but people who saw it were pretty amazed. I remember hearing that the funnels left what looked like plowed furrows in the ground as they made their approach.

Here’s an amazing picture:  A super cell storm cloud forming over Wyoming.

While my heart and soul respond to these storms with awe and excitement, I’m also keenly aware of the damage and heartbreak they can create.  People die.  There’s nothing exciting about that.

I think it’s just the amazing power they create that holds my attention and draws me to pictures and videos.  I have a grandson who loves storms, and he lives out in the Midwestern prairies where there’s plenty of storm activity during tornado season.  I get it, why he’s so interested.