Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Petrichor and Other Autumn Joy

Eleven Cool Things To Love About Fall

A few days ago, I was feeling kind of gloomy about the impending end of summer, and so I posted a status update on Facebook saying as much, and soliciting from my friends things to enjoy about autumn. My friends responded in full (gale) force! What a windfall!

Kel Munger of the Sacramento News and Review thought the list was fun stuff, and posted a condensed version to the SNR's blog, SNOG.

And now, shamelessly stolen from SNOG, I present you with the Top Ten Reasons to Love Autumn in Sacwhich was shamelessly stolen from my Facebook page! Shameless thievery abounds!

10. Walking around without sweating out all your bodily fluids,

9. Wearing awesome socks without melting,

8. Flannel!,

7. Apple Hill! Cider!,

6. Leaving the windows open during the day,

5. Fall colors, followed by the crunching sound of leaves under your feet,

4. Dusting off the Crock-pot and making soup,

3. No more air-conditioning,

2. The sound of rain on the roof, and

1. The smell after it rains!

Read the SNOG posting here, or friend me on Facebook to read the entire status message with all its deliciously detailed comments!

Also, thanks to S, and to Wikipedia, for informing the masses that there is, in fact a word to describe the smell of rain. That word is "petrichor."

The term was coined in 1964 by two Australian researchers, Bear and Thomas, for an article in the journal Nature. In the article, the authors describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is adsorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, producing the distinctive scent. In a follow-up paper, Bear and Thomas (1965) showed that the oil retards seed germination and early plant growth.

Finally, a haiku I wrote awhile back about enjoying fall without risking the ire of landscaping neighbors:

Leap in piles of leaves!
Jump only vertically…
Don't scuff; leave no mess.

I hope you enjoy fall, friends and readers, and keep me posted on your seasonal adventures!


  1. Since I missed the FB post last year, let me add:

    - squirels and other animals scurrying about with a new vigor or sense of purpose

    - the cool crisp air, full of transition

    - an extra appreciation for sunny days

    - fall harvest

    - school begins again

    - endings

    ... and so much more!