After the July gustnado, I started to notice
a wood-related smell around here. It's neither a burning smell nor a turpentinish sap smell. More like a dark sugary woody smell. Maple, brown sugar, molasses. Somewhere in that realm. Translated to music, it might be by Sibelius.
Brand new smell, never sensed it before.
It was all-pervasive from August until last week's deepfreeze. It stopped during the 10-degree week. Now, with temps in the 30s, the smell is returning but not as strong.
It runs well up into the air. When I'm coming down the Shadle hill on Hoffman or Rowan, the smell starts about halfway down. (Since Shadle hill is about 100 feet high, halfway down is treetop level for this neighborhood.)
It's strongest near a broken
tree, whether the tree is still in the ground or laying in a trailer.
I've never caught this smell near a deliberately cut
tree. Only a violently torn tree.
This is a tree's cry for help. More likely given the strength, it's a response from other trees
to the presence of an injured tree, something like the ethylene signals exchanged by fruits.
But what's the purpose? Healing? Sedation? A last lullaby to a lost friend? Or more prosaic, just sweetly inviting carpenter ants to finish the job?
= = = = =
Later: Followup with some verification here.
Labels: Danbo, Heimatkunde, Smarty-plants