Friday, August 29, 2014

Your Word for the Day: Petrichor

Rain is grace;
rain is the sky descending to the earth;
without rain, there would be no life.
--John Updike

Is there anything that smells better than rain? It's better than any fragrance bottled by a celebrity and sold for exorbitant prices.

I was going to impress everyone with the why and how of this wonderful, enticing aroma. And then I found out there really is a word for the smell after a rain: petrichor (PET-ri-kuhr), a noun, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

Petrichor is from oils given off by vegetation, absorbed onto neighboring surfaces and released into the air after a rain. So says Matthew Bettelheim at Nature's Laboratory, Mount Shasta, California.

Now there's a little something to talk about at the dinner table today.
File photo from The County Line
In the past three days, we've gotten 2.10 inches of rain. There was 1.10" in the gauge after a Tuesday night rain, 0.40" on Wednesday night and 0.50" last night. We had gone to the Hutchinson Community College football game to watch our niece, Amanda, cheer. But we K-State fans didn't bring an umbrella because they aren't allowed in Bill Snyder Family Stadium, our normal football watching venue. We could have had one at the HCC stadium. Live and learn.

The rain has slowed our start to corn harvest, but that's OK. It's helped the silage head out and has given the pastures a boost. It will help get the wheat ground ready for planting next month.

When I was looking for rain quotes, I thought this one from Thomas Haden Church best applied to life on the County Line and for farmers everywhere:

"I love going to the feed store and drinking coffee and talking about how much rain we need."

Just insert the proper location -- co-op of your choice, AmPride, Joan's Cafe, the repair shop, your local convenience store: You fill in the blank.

Randy is at Joan's for breakfast this morning. He says he usually eats oatmeal there, so surely it's not for the meal. I'm guessing they are talking rain.

I'm linked to the Country Fair Blog Party. Check out these other rural writers by clicking on their links.


  1. Love this post! :)

    1. Thanks! I think talking rain is a universal farm country "thing!"

  2. Yea for the rain, Kim. Glad to hear you got some needed moisture.

    Sounds like Mom and Dad have had a wet week too. J and I were gone over the weekend and hit a few showers close to home while driving today. We could use a good 2-3 weeks of dry weather to get our hay crop hauled in. J is thinking it will be the end of September before we are ready to chop corn.

    1. We got another 0.80" of rain Sunday night, so no corn harvest for us today either. There will be less "labor" on Labor Day than anticipated.