Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The scents of seasons

photo of snow tracks becoming dimples
© harrington
Old tracks and daily dustings of snow create snow dimples. The tracks lose all definition and become simple depressions in fresh snow cover. Unless, that is, you're a dog or have a sense of smell that works as well as a dog's. Taking Franco the Rescue Dog (we needn't go into who rescued whom) for his afternoon walk, I noticed he was determined to explore what used to be there -- in those tracks -- and left behind those wonderful smells. I wonder -- if I could sniff the way he does if it would be useful, enjoyable, or just sensory overload? When there are fresh deer tracks, he is ever so eager to follow them. Other times he uses the same pattern I was taught to follow if I lost a blood trail, mark the sport where you're starting and make wider circles until you cut it again. I remember reading, over the years, that some scenting conditions are better than others, as I recall, warm and damp were better than most others. Winter's cold and, sometimes, damp, so I suppose that benefits Franco explorations ("But it's a dry cold" he says).  Would that I had his enthusiasm for most things in my life. Having a pet like Franco makes me aware of how much pleasure I can miss just because I'm not in the mood. That, in turn, reminds me to work on my Zen acceptance of what is and enjoyment of the pleasures that are mine if I'm just open to them. I don't recall ever seeing anything about Buddha's reincarnating in rescue dogs, but neither have I read everything there may be on this subject. Stop by again some time soon and see what other wonderful aromas are arising in My Minnesota. (Hint, imagine Spring coming soon full of fresh, damp earth smells. What about the aroma of mucking out and spreading the manure from the barn across the road? Can you tell if its a cattle or a horse barn?)