06 October, 2006

Summer is coming - I can smell it!

J, Chickie and I went to the supermarket last weekend to do the weekly grocery shopping. We chose a trolley and wandered into the fresh fruit and veg section and I said "I can smell mangoes". I looked around and saw the paw paw and pineapple next to me and felt disappointed. I figured it must have been these that I could smell.

J went on ahead while I got some apples, then he called me over and waved a mango in the air. I nearly danced for joy! I adore mangoes. In my mind, the smell of a mango means summer.

I remember, when I was a kid, we'd go visit our cousins who lived in Queensland. They had a mango tree and we were able to eat as many as we liked. We'd have fun throwing the overripe ones at each other (our parents must have hated doing the laundry) and we'd climb the tree and just hang out. We had so much fun in that tree.

It was such a long time ago now, that my memories are a bit hazy. I do remember the feelings and smells though. This is why the smell of a mango represents summer to me.

So, a question for you. What smells do you associate with summer? For those in the northern hemisphere, what about winter? What smells mean winter to you?

18 comments:

Steve said...

Your English readers can probably relate to this, the smell of daffodils reminds me of summer. Not that we get them here in Brisbane, but I was born in England and can still remember the smell of them in the village where I lived.

On the topic of mangoes, every year at the Brisbane markets they have a charity auction for the season's first box of mangoes. It usually sells for about $20,000.

Zazzy said...

I have a similar reaction with fresh peaches, the scent fills the produce section and I drive the cart around the piles of fruit and vegetables looking for the source.

Matthew said...

Fall is closing in on us here in the northern hemisphere.

I spent about a decade in southern California, where there are no seasons and no smells to go with them.

But now that I'm back where the seasons change, those smells I remember from my childhood in upstate New York have been flooding back.

It's that smell of leaves, really. Damp leaves on the ground. Back in New York, they would pile the leaves up by the curb and suction trucks would come and pick them up. The color of the leaves would seap into puddles after a hard rain and turn them dark red and orange.

That's not a smell, really, but I associate the smells here in southern Oregon those images of my childhood.

Now if you'll pardon me, please, I'm going to stand on the stoop and get all misty.

Raspberry Fool said...

Well I'm in England and I can tell you we seem to have skipped autumn altogether and gone straight from the limp end of a disappointing summer into full blown winter. I tried hard to think of a smell I associate with the summer's I knew back home but I kept coming back to the sound of the cicada ... that constant background noise meant seriously warm weather. Plus we got to watch nature in the raw - the half consumed cidada, its front end not comprehending that the back end had been devoured by some species of birdlife or other.

The only other thing I can associate with summer is that certain ineffable eucapytus induced haze when we went back up to the north east.

Winter here near the North Sea is cold, wet and miserable. We will not even get much in the way compensatory snow. Perversely though we will get that cheeky robin redbreast poking around the garden in search of (a) grub.

In the meantime the local farming community has been dispensing liquid fertiliser liberally and that stench really is indescribable.

Last Girl On Earth said...

I'm thinking that I need to come visit Australia so that I can start over with summer again! I'm SOOOO not ready for winter.

Fall is wonderful, though. The smell of crisp air all around the changing leaves. Heck, it's nice to write about, but when I'm walking the puppy in the morning and freezing my tush off, it loses some of it's magic!

Michele sent me tonight. I'm glad she did!

The Phosgene Kid said...

It gets so cold the inside of your nose freezes, so in effect you can't smell anything in winter.

Steve said...

Matthew, that leaf litter smell is another one that reminds me of the village in my childhood.

Fortunately, I get to smell that everytime I go down to Armidale in autumn. There's a road in the university called Elm Avenue because it's lined with Elm trees.

That smell, and the colours when the leaves are dropping...

I'm getting all nostalgic again.

caramaena said...

Thanks for visiting everyone!

steve - $20,000 - wow! I shouldn't be surprised though. I lived in a town called Young in NSW at one stage and they grow cherries there. Apparently the first season's cherries have a similar charity auction. No idea of the amount they get. Young is where I was introduced to white cherries - delish!

zazzy - peaches, mmmm...

matthew and last girl on earth - I don't think we have quite the same amount of trees that change where I'm living now. Though I did once live in a town that had a lot trees that did. It was truly beautiful.

raspberry fool - shame you've missed autumn. I have to admit it's my favourite season of all. As for the fertiliser, I think I have an idea. An ex and I once drove through a town where the local council had fertilised all the council parks/gardens. The whole place stank to high heaven! We were planning on stopping the night but after driving in, we very quickly drove to the next time. I have no idea what possessed them to do every park/garden at once - it was rank.

caramaena said...

phosgene kid - I've never really lived in a place that gets that cold in winter. Does it snow where you are?

steve - Armidale is the place I was referring to before. It's such a lovely city in autumn. I have fond memories of when I lived there.

Catherine said...

Strawberries mean summer for me. I definitely have to have strawberries for Christmas, Christmas isn't the same without them. I do like mangoes but in New Zealand we only get imported ones, and they are not allowed to ripen naturally on the tree, so I'm sure they are not at their best.
Here from Michele's.

Carmelo said...

Its so odd that you lots down there associate Christmas with summer, we get snow and rain and early nights. Anyways winter is wonderful, the crunch of crisp frozen grass underfoot, the odd beauty of lakes and trees frozen in motion. I love it.

-E said...

Oh I too adore mango. It reminds me of my roommate in boarding school my sr year.

The smell of grilling outside makes me think of summer. The smell of fires burning in fireplaces makes me think of winter.

myboyfriendiscrazy said...

Winter smells like frigid air invading your nostrils. It's horrible, and it's coming :(

caramaena said...

catherine - I remember my sister used to grow strawberries when were were kids - not many made it inside to be shared though ;)

carmelo - I have vowed that one day I will have a cold christmas! No idea when, but I'm sure it will be strange for me when I do experience it.

-e - I once lived in a town that had a lot of fireplaces. Your mentioning it brings back the smell. I quite enjoyed living there.

mbic - I take it you're not a cold weather person then?

My float said...

Definitely mangoes. And that hot beach coconut smell that lingers in the air of a very hot day.

In winter, smoke does it every time!

The Phosgene Kid said...

I live in Arizona now, so winter isn’t too bad. I was raised in the Great Frozen Nation though, and had enough of the snow. That is why I live here now... I guess it kind of smells like creosote here in AZ. The creosote bushes get wet in the winter rains and give off a very pungent odor.

Steve said...

Actually, the box of mangoes went for $26,000 this year.

caramaena said...

my float - I'd forgotten about the coconut smell - suntan lotions etc

phos - Great Frozen Nation?

steve - that's a heck of a lot more than I'd pay for 1 box of mangoes ;)