I saw surprisingly few birds today, even though I was in the woods for hours. But I did have an observation.

Something on the birdless trails tweaked a memory of the last Bulls game. Might be the feel of a letdown, but that wasn’t all. There was a smell.

When I watched the Bulls I’d been eating onion pizza. Today, I smelled onion in the green woods. It was pretty strong, and got stronger when I stepped in the undergrowth.

A dimly remembered fact came to mind. This area has been known since pre-Columbian times for wild onions.

Some people call them leeks. Whatever, they have a distinctive smell. And they were growing strong where I was hiking.

The word “Chicago” is from a Native American language, and means “wild onion,” as you might have heard.

That’s a pretty sensible name. Unlike New York’s “big apple,” whose origin is murky.

There’s no redeeming bird-watching story to share after today’s hike. All I came out of the woods with was a great onion smell in my nose.

It made me look forward to lunch. And to my next visit to this place. The birding has got to be better tomorrow. And, besides, I like onions.

5 Responses to “Smell.”

  1. patrickquillin says:

    Read the book “Holes” or rent the movie by the same name. Sigourney Weaver is a great villianess and the heroes are sustained by our favorite vegetable, yes, onions!

  2. Two-Fisted Bird Watcher says:

    For those who are unfamiliar with the word “ramp”…this is a name for another plant of the wild onion family. Thanks to Dresher, and Google.

  3. Dresher says:

    Ramps… very edible!

  4. Terri says:

    I noticed the same thing! I thought it was my husband’s breath. But yes, there’s a lot of those plants. Once we pulled one up and there was a bulb, a real onion or maybe a garlic. Hope you see some birds next time, and get some more onion pizza.

  5. Marc D. says:

    Another blog about nature’s abundant cafeteria, a follow up to “Edible.” The TFBW is immersed in his senses these days: sight, always (bird watching); and recently taste, and smell. Will hearing and touch come next? Nature is indeed a cafeteria and life is a cabaret.