About the Author

Robert Ball

Guest contributor

Robbie developed a passion for the African bush from many visits to his family’s small holding in a greater conservancy just outside Johannesburg. Living in the big city his whole life, he always found refuge in the outdoors and has grown to appreciate ...

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on The Smell of Rain

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Senior Digital Ranger

Excellent blog, Robbie. “Petrichor” is a great word (as is the aroma), well worth knowing , but, alas, not many people here in the western United States seem to be familiar with it. So it’s sort of a “show off” word, too. I use it often, probably to show off.

Thank you, Dave. I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

Robert, well written explanation of the smell. I never forget the smell and now I know why, because humans always search for water. Thanks for teaching me something new.

You’re welcome, William. I’m glad you learnt something new!

Beautifully written, I love the smell of rain, especially when it’s hot!

Fantastic blog Robbie and thank you for the new word, petrichor, that I will use on my hikes after rain. There are so many wonderful smells whilst out in nature, not the least of which is new grass. Your blog brings up so many wonderful memories….

Thank you, Denise. I’m glad it created a bit of nostalgia!

Thank you, Francesca. Yes – don’t we all!

thank you, very interesting!

You’re welcome, Irene!

I know just what you mean, Robert – but let’s also not forget the wonderful aroma of a hot chocolate and Amarula on the morning game drive, and the gin in the evening…..

Both the aroma… And the taste!

Robert, this must be one of the most informative and interesting blogposts I have read here. Very well done, thank you.

You’re welcome, Dries. I’m glad you enjoyed it and learnt something new!

Yes, the smell of rain, or rather water hitting the earth, is wonderful, especially if it comes at the end of a hot day or even a very long hot and dusty period. It is so refreshening . A great article and wonderful photos.

Refreshing (and relieving) indeed!

Senior Digital Ranger

Always love these postings of yours. So deliciously edifying!

That’s great to hear Johanna, I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

We have visited Londolozi usually in early to mid January and we don’t usually have downpours. And probably we don’t notice the effect of the rain on everything! Next time we come I will make an effort to pay more attention. Thank you. Victoria

That’s something to surely look forward to!

Fun and interesting read! Like the smell of cut grass, the smell of geosmin is capable of bringing back some happy childhood memories. Summer days of stifling heat and humidity were all movement felt impossible. And with that crack of a thunderstorm…running out to greet the rain! Thanks!

You’re welcome, Marcia. It too brings back happy childhood memories for me!

Robert your description of the smell of rain is incredible, the word Petrichor is not used often. I love the smell of rain and know it brings relief to all, animals, people and our bush.

Petrichor ! what an interesting word and what a super interesting blog Robert. It certainly brings back wonderful memories of growing up in the Lowveld..a smell that cleansed you from the inside out… but of course there was always that huge electrical storm first with massive lightning which would have us jumping out of the pool or bath as fast as we could go 😁.

I’m glad it brought back some happy memories for you Cally. Growing up in Johannesburg I too would be quick to get out the pool!

I had no idea that you can smell rain coming. How wonderful! Thanks Robert.

You’re welcome, Barbara. I’m glad you learnt something new!

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