July 8, 2014 at 10:04 AM

The Smell of Summer

The air is heavy with the smells of ozone, wet earth, and the overwhelming pungency of sagebrush being pummeled with life-sustaining rain.

By Karen Denison

At Home Outdoors

Karen Denison is owner of Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing guide service, a former biologist, and a shameless admirer of the outdoors.

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Because of how our brains are wired, scientists say of our five senses that the sense of smell elicits the strongest emotional and memory responses.

Visitors often remark to me how they love the smell of piñon burning in winter fireplaces, or the vanilla fragrance of Ponderosa Pine trunks.  We all know and love the scent of roasting green chile in August and September.

We're currently returning from an out-of-state visit and as we're crossing into New Mexico we run headlong into a July monsoon storm: lashing rain and spotty sleet with patches of sun and blue sky showing all around the towering black cloud unleashing its fury upon us.

The air is heavy with the smells of ozone, wet earth, and the overwhelming pungency of sagebrush being pummeled with life-sustaining rain.  Ah, those scents!  Now we know we're home!

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