Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Smells of Fall

There's no denying that we are at the tail end of fall here in the Midwest--the temperature dips below the freezing at night, the trees are almost bare, and the leaves are on the ground. A walk outside means being steeped in the smells of fall. I happen to love the smells of fall, and so I thought today I shall indulge in them a bit, make a list and present it to you, my dear readers, to see what you might have to add!

Moist, Not Quite Rotten Leaves
Walking through the city, turning a corner, all of a sudden, there it will be: the almost fresh and deeply earthy smell of fallen leaves. It laces the air, can't be found just anywhere, and the air has to be cool for it to materialize. I always breathe in deeply when I catch it, sometimes I step back to catch that whiff again. Ah! It's fall.

A Wood-Burning Fire
It is the smell of the onset of fall in the countryside, when the debris of many a summer storm is burned, or it is the smell of fall in the city, when the first fire is kindled in a fireplace on a chilly autumn night.

Osage Oranges
I love those utterly useless, brilliantly gnarled orbs of lime green woodsy freshness. My newest bounty smelled so intently that it was giving me headaches, and I had to relegate it to the porch to air out.

Pumpkin or Butternut Squash
Cut up the pumpkin or squash to make soup and the smell of its deep orange flesh will tell you it's fall. (A few years ago I discovered that it is absolutely ridiculous to attempt to make butternut squash soup in the spring, even if they are readily available. It will send you on a time warp, a confusion in season.

Any smells of autumn you'd like to add?


  1. Replies
    1. They were for me, too, until I discovered their happy green selves during my first stay at VCCA.