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(JUNE 24, 2010) "Come on, Stinky," Elizabeth called out this morning as she took the leash and led Sadie out of the back of the Jeep.
Elizabeth uses that term of endearment for Sadie, and the English setter obligingly responds. This morning, however, the air was full of smells of nature, and Sadie, with her super sensitive nose seemed more alert to the odors that surrounded her as we walked on the Riverwalk. Her nose is regularly to the ground as she smells the scent of animals that have gone before us - sometimes a dog that might be a quarter of a mile ahead or perhaps a deer that had wandered down to the river, crossing the trail earlier this morning or the night before.
The smell of nature was around us as we entered the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a sensory experience each morning, playing with all of the senses of those who visit it.
The lovely sweet smell of the honeysuckle is no longer evident as those aromatic beauties have blossomed and now have gone back to just a green dormant plants in the woods. However, there were other smells from the woodsy pungent aroma of the dark woods - the woods that a few days ago smelled like a spring rain now smelled more like the dryness of leaves. There was also the smell of creosote near the bridge carrying the train across the river - not natural creosote, but the creosote used to preserve the wood used by the railroad.
The beautiful flowers along the trail each have their own distinct odors, but they do not fill the air like the honeysuckle does in the springtime. By sniffing the flowers, there is a perfume that can be detected that is less likely there to attract the nose of the wanderer and his dog, but more likely to attract the honeybees or other insects that spread the pollen that continues to keep the plant species around.
A few days ago, as I was walking near the river at Dan Daniel Park where the fishermen often drop their lines, I smelled the distinct odor of fish. There, a few feet ahead of us, was part of a fish that had been left there by a fisherman earlier that morning or the day before. Fortunately, Sadie's olfactory senses were tuned to something else, and she missed what she would have considered a tasty treat.
There are a number of non-nature created odors as we walk the trail. Near the Public Works department the morning air is touched by the smell of diesel fuel with the workers starting their vehicles to begin their daily tasks throughout the city. Near the highway that comes within a few yards of the Riverwalk, there is the smell of automobiles traveling only a short distance from nature. Over the years of walking on the Riverwalk, I have accepted these aromatic intrusions into the natural smells of the woods, realizing that these are the folks who repair our highways and pick up our trash.
Oh, and that is an odor I don't smell along the Riverwalk - trash. Those who work on the Riverwalk picking up the trash and cleaning the restrooms and emptying the trash cans do their daily tasks and keep the Riverwalk facilities clean and the trail free from human littering.
And finally, back to the term "Come on, Stinky!" which Elizabeth called out this morning. Today, Sadie smelled more like the lovely aroma of the flowers around us than like a dog since she had spent yesterday at the spa where she was bathed, brushed, and manicured.
Therefore, the comment could not have been aimed towards Sadie, but I was the only other one who was around. Hmmmmm.....could she have been directing that comment to me? Nawwwwwww....well, maybe.....Nawwwww.
It was another good morning on the Riverwalk.
Working at Dancing Creek Farm
1 year ago