Today, while driving around the Mt Baker foothills, I had the pleasure of passing a giant tractor/mixer/farm implement that happened, upon close inspection, to be a liquid manure spreader. Ahhh, the time of year when these things go all day and night in the farmlands. I could hear one working until nearly 11 pm last night in the neighbors field. And the smell, the smell that until you live in the country, deep country, you can't get used to overnight.
I remember many years ago, when I was living in Seattle and would come up to the farm to visit once in awhile, how nearly nauseating the smell was to me. I couldn't understand how anyone could live in a place that smelled like, well, a farm. Cut to the present, after nearly 6 years in a deeply rural life, with occasional trips to the city, and I can barely understand how anyone could live with all those artificial lights, honking horns, bus exhaust, and angry traffic.
In addition to the manure, today I also drove by a quarter mile patch of mountain lowland that was chock full of blooming skunk cabbage (a honeybee favorite!) that filled the warm spring air with the smells of stinky, dank skunk. The huge yellow bloms look cartoonish, and blanket most of Whatcom County for the next few weeks.
And yes, the ubiquitous scent of fresh cut grass permeated not only my countryside drive, but I imagine most of the state today, where it seemed mandatory that all lawns be mowed. It sure feels good to be planted firmly in springtime, where the sense that planting and pruning, felling and cleaning, can be done without worry of frost, snow, or windstorm to bring it all back down. That is, with fingers crossed!