TALLADEGA SCENIC HIGHWAY ON MT. CHEAHA ~ ALABAMA ~ photo taken by Dianna Stover
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

KUDZU AND THE SMELL OF RAIN

If you've ever traveled in the Southeast during the summer, you have probably seen Kudzu. It's a climbing woody vine that grows rapidly and covers everything in its path. According to Jane Linton who wrote "Kudzu Covers Dixie Like The Dew", this vine is said to cover more than 7 million acres in the South and it grows at the rate of a foot (or more) per day! Old southern folklore tells of mothers keeping a close eye on their children while they sleep to keep them from being choked to death by the night creeper vine. It is also told, that an escaped prisoner fled into a kudzu patch and is still unaccounted for.

Yesterday, while Harley and I were out on the Glides cruising the country side as we usually do on Saturdays, I was noticing all the different shapes and forms I would see created by this creeping invader. It was kind of like watching clouds, and identifying familiar shapes. Almost everywhere you look, you see kudzu. My imagination was really working! When I told Harley, that the field we just past looked like an ocean full of whales, he asked if I'd been sniffing chemicals. LOL! I made a comment that I would like to take some pics of the kudzu to share with my blogger pals and I think that confirmed it. He's been married to me long enough to know, sometimes it's just better to humor me, than try to figure me out!


We left our house that morning with temps in the mid 90's and a slightly overcast sky. It seemed like we were in the sun more than the clouds though, and we had to stop often to drink something. After almost 200 miles of toodling around the country side, checking out the kudzu on this southern summer day, we got pretty hot and sweaty. As we made our way back toward Montgomery, the sky presented a pretty dark thunderstorm in the area we were headed in. Harley is good at reading the sky and taking us on a route to skirt around the storms as much as possible. This day was no different. With about 60 miles left to go, we were chasing it home. We could smell the rain... that fresh wet smell, even though we were not in the storm. I love the smell of rain, I just don't care to ride in it. We started noticing that the road was still wet from the rain that had just passed through, but not enough to make your jeans wet, and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees. Suddenly, the clothes that had been sticking to us because of the heat, created a welcome cooling effect as the cooler air hit us while we rode. Ahhh! That feels good. We could still smell the rain but not a drop was hitting us. We made it all the way home and the storm was gone by the time we got here.

All in all, I'd say we had a great ride. We cleared some cob webs, rejuvenated our souls, and I got to spend the day with my three favorite Harleys. I suppose if we had gotten into a terrible storm, we could always find shelter in the kudzu...if we dare!

Ride safe! Lady R

6 comments:

Ann said...

When we moved from Mass to Arizona, we took the southern route...40. It was a beautiful ride, though a little warm as it was July. I loved seeing all the kudzu. At first, I didn't know what it was, and Big D had to tell me. It was really amazing.

It sounds like you had a great Saturday ride! The pics were great, as usual. And I, too, LOVE the smell of rain! We just don't get a whole lot of it out here in the desert and that just makes it that much more precious!

Masterchief said...

I have never heard of Kudzu till now. Thanks for the education. Reading your riding stories makes be want to get another bike (wrecked one bad when I was 18) and force some fresh air up my nose. Thanks for sharing.

Lady Ridesalot said...

ann...Kudzu is like a southern tradition and it's used for so many things and in so many ways. The smell of rain is probably one of my favorite smells, next to honeysuckle.

masterchief...if you look at the link I provided, it shows a little abandoned house during the four seasons being invaded by kudzu. Creepy.
Let us know if you ever decide to get back in the saddle. If I can be of some inspiration in that for you, then great! Only you can know when and if your ready and I hope your sweetheart doesn't come after me for putting ideas in your head.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Love the Kudzu pics. I've never seen this stuff before either, let alone even heard of it. It's really wild! (Litterally)!

Glad you skirted the storm.

"Joker" said...

I always wondered what that stuff was! It almost looks as if it's alive. Did you ever read the Shining? There's this part in there about sculpted hedge "animals" that come alive due to the evil spirits. This is not shown in the movie with Jack, but is in the mini-series with Stephen Weber - a very POOR choice to play Nicholson's character in my opinion.

If you'd read it, you'd know what I mean. When I saw that picture, I could almost swear I saw something move...

Lady Ridesalot said...

mr. m...it's pretty wild stuff, indeed. Glad you enjoyed the pics. Call us the storm chasers! Pretty nice not to get wet.

Joker...IT IS ALIVE!!! Probably that movement in the kudzu you saw, was the missing prisoner that was never found. Or his ghost! Oooooooooo, Oooooooooo!