Friday, July 3, 2009

Scent on the Wind

I am mystified how aromas can evoke memories and feelings. The fragrance of a blooming, Russian Olive tree triggers my childhood memories.

The irrigation ditch which ran through the farmyard was lined with about 100 yards of Russian Olives. This copse served as a windbreak for the garden and for the corrals. As far as I knew, the trees had never been trimmed: they were unruly and demanded respect because the thorns caused nasty pricks and cuts. As forbidding as these trees were most of the year, in the Spring they redeemed themselves with the most delicious, sweet smell.

In 2007, the State of Wyoming declared war on the Russian Olive and declared it a noxious weed, a trash tree, and it is slowly being eradicated on public land.

Someday the air will be void of its Spring-time fragrance. That doesn't smell right to me.


  1. ... a noxious weed? Seems like the books of Mari SAndoz talks about all the Russion Olives being an important tree here in western Nebraska - we don't have many trees as it is? I was not aware of it's fragrance - and will pay more attention.

  2. Hum, they don't sound as bad as the Kudzu in the south. Or some of the killer fish around the Chesapeak. Does this mean your trees will be taken down? Do you still live near the trees?

    I remember one year at an inservice meeting for teachers we were shown some information about how smell was an excellent trigger for memory and how teachers were using chocolate in a classroom to associate something she wanted the kids to remember to the chocolate. Hum, I wonder if that would have ruined chocolate for me!Bonnie in the Poconos

  3. yes, they grow like weeds, but they GROW where most other trees won't!

  4. I have never heard of this tree, but I know full well how plants can evoke memories. In East Texas where I grew up, we had Chinaberry trees.The ones around my old homeplace died and I have not seen one in years. They were thick with dark green leaves and had a round "berry" on them. I played under those good, shady trees and used the berries for pretend food for tea parties. I had a little copper tea kettle and I put the berries in that and added water to make "tea". Of course, I didn't drink it.My birthday is in April, just when Mother's bulbs were coming up and she often picked me a birthday bouquet of iris, daffodils, jonquil, and narcissus.I think of those flowers every year in April and how great they smelled.
    Thanks for a walk down memory lane! It is a shame that the government has to step in where it is often not needed.
    Blessings, Sarita


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