Wednesday, May 15, 2013

...the Smog Alerts?

Spring has finally made an appearance here in Mid-Michigan.

I've heard that Punxsutawney Phil may be looking for another gig after his mistaken pronouncement of an early spring.

I spent a considerable amount of blog space in the winter of 2008-2009 about the winters in Michigan.  But it occurred to me that I've never mentioned the springs here.

First, let me explain that I was born in the Bronx and raised in Los Angeles. Living in those two cities did nothing to further my knowledge of nature. However, what counts for nature in Los Angeles held some educational value. I learned that:

1. Trees do not grow out of the concrete
2. Ducks can fly. Yes, I'm completely serious.
3. The orange gas I saw out the airplane window during my flight into L.A was not an engine fire; it was Smog.

Smog...the moniker is a combination of smoke and fog. In Los Angeles, they have Smog Alerts to let you know when the air is not really good to breathe.

I've always found Smog Alerts a bit useless. First, you can't avoid breathing. Well you can, but then you pass out and start breathing again. Second, you don't need to be told the air is unhealthy when you look outside and see that the sky is brown.

Michigan, however, opened a whole new ecological world for me. I've learned that:

  • There are more birds than just seagulls, crows, sparrows, and pigeons.
  • Canadian Geese will growl if you approach them.
  • The Wild Turkey is actually a bird, not just a whiskey. Also, they tend to be seen on the side of the interstate during hunting season because it isn't legal to shoot them there. Pretty smart for a turkey. Sky Blue isn't just a made-up color. It is the actual color of a clear sky.

and lastly, that deciduous trees and shrubs flower in the spring.

Which is where this story really begins.

During the spring in Michigan, I can walk out of my house and smell flowers and grasses, not car exhaust or the funky smell only a large metropolis can produce.

It's like being at the florist, but warmer...and the flowers are not on life support.

I have always read about the "perfumed air of spring," it wasn't until we moved here that I really experienced it.

To all those with spring allergies, you have my sympathy. I know that for you spring is the worst season of the year.

I am fortunate in that I am not allergic to the pollen in Michigan, so for me the perfumed air of spring is simply amazing.

And there are no Smog Alerts here...ever.

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