Why I Love Living in Montana: #2

June 18 2005 014I am simply entranced by the smell of Douglas Fir trees on a summer morning.

On these mornings, the wind always picks up as the sun begins peeking over Columbia Mountain.  I emailed Mark Heyka, our awesome local-ish meteorologist (local-ish because he is based two hours south in Missoula, but is responsible for all of western Montana) to ask why this was–I assumed it had something to with cold air/warm air, etc.

This was his response:


Whenever the sun rises, it starts warming the surface air.  When air is warmed, it becomes lighter, or buoyant.  Warmer air rises, and this starts circulations in the atmosphere and wind can be the result.
Thanks for watching First Alert Weather!

Mark Heyka
Chief Meteorologist
NBC Montana

(Another reason I love Montana–my meteorologist emails me back the SAME day!)  So there you have it.

Anyway, nothing can compare to that sweet, piney, warm smell of Doug Firs carried on that breeze.  You have to catch it at just the right time though…in the mornings, on abnormally warm nights, when you camp in the middle of forest…it is amazing.  I remark about it every time I smell it, because it is so heavenly.

All places have their uniques scent.  I appreciate the humid, decomposing smell of Florida, the red clay smell of South Carolina, and the fresh but slightly fishy smell of Lake Michigan.  But nothing, nothing! compares to the smell of Douglas Fir trees in Montana on a warming summer morning.

What does your favorite outdoor place smell like?

5 thoughts on “Why I Love Living in Montana: #2

  1. I never thought about the fragrance of Florida being described as “decomposing”, interesting idea. I’ll have to pay more attention when traveling 🙂


  2. Oh my gosh, I know what you’re talking about. I miss this too. Nebraska does not have it. One day I was running down a street near my house that has a row of pine trees, and I got a split second whiff of that pine tree smell. I stopped dead and just took a deep breath, but it was gone. But I know what you’re talking about…I love it. The sound of the wind through the pine trees gets me too.


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