Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Legacy: Smell ya later!

Peter, a fellow blogger did a nice post today called, "Of Legacy and Forests." It's worth a read.

Me, I want to write about smells. In this case, the smell of spring and of legacy; hence, "Smell ya later!"

Nelson, a Simpson's character, often says goodbye by saying, "Smell ya later!" That's just good Simpson humor. Today I want to consider a different kind of lingering smell: the smell of oranges.

I grew up and still live in Orange County, California. And guess what, we used to have lots of orange groves! There a still a few around, but they used to be everywhere.

Growing up in Anaheim, we had a grove behind our house until they tore it down to build a junior high. We had a tree in our backyard, until we tore it out when we put in a swimming pool. But even with all those trees, one thing I never remember is the smell of orange blossoms. How did I miss that?

Lately I've been riding a bike around the neighborhood. I ride with enough intensity that soon I'm breathing hard.

As I've been sucking in all that air, I've occasionally noticed a wonderful fragrance. It took a couple of rides before I isolated the smell's origin: orange blossoms!

Spring in Orange County brings orange blossoms! The tract of homes in which I ride used to be an orange grove. How do I know? The legacy of orange trees gives it away.

As the developers sub-divided the groves and built houses, they tried to leave an orange tree in each yard. Some of these trees have survived to this day, and now they are a fragrant legacy to days by-gone.

Orange trees used to outnumber people in Orange County, but not anymore. The smell of orange blossoms in the spring used to fill the air, but not anymore.

But if you're out for a walk or a ride in March, you just might catch a fragrance on the breeze that is magical. It is a smell echoing the legacy of Southern California: orange blossoms.

The survivors of those historic groves beckon to the modern nose: "Smell ya later!" And I do.


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  3. Thanks for the tour, a full fledged treat for the senses. There is something a little sad about some of the changes that we witness, but at least they tried to keep an orange tree in each yard.

  4. Take a long whiff of the blossoms for us! Mayyyyybe someday we'll have citrus trees in our very own yard.

  5. Peter,

    There is something bittersweet as we see some changes. But you also know something of legacy as noted in your blog.


    You too have seen changes that are bittersweet due to the permanence you've attained in your neighborhood.

    I'll stop on my next ride, take in the scent, and think of you. Mayyybeeee there are citrus trees in your future!

  6. one of my favorite fragrances...thanks's for the memory!

  7. Don, this post is so descriptive that I can almost smell the oranges and the Spring in the air with you my friend.
    Thanks and sorry that I'm so behind in my commenting, I've been really sick. I have been reading everyone's posts but am lacking in comments lately.
    Take good care and......

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  8. Thanks for stopping by Reggie Girl. I enjoy your posts,and I'm glad you "travel" over to mine. Sitting in my backyard at twilight tonight, my neighbor's orange tree provided me with another nasal treat. Hmmmm... (And my Bearded Irises are budding!) And my German Shepherd is getting fiesty!