Monday, July 28, 2014

Five Basic Senses ~ Part 4

 The 5 traditional recognized methods of perception or sense are:


Our nose is the organ we use to smell.  The inside of the nose is lined with something called mucous membranes.  These membranes have small receptors connected to a special nerve called the olfactory nerve.  Smells are made of fumes of various substances.  The Smell receptors react with the molecules  of these fumes and then send these messages to the brain.  Our Sense of Smell is capable of identifying  7 types of sensations which are put into these categories: camphor, musk, flower, mint, ether, acrid or putrid. The nerve of Smell is sometimes lost for a short time when a person has a cold.  Dogs have a more sensitive Smell than man!

In addition to being the organ of Smell, the nose also cleans the air  we breathe and impacts the sound of our voice.  Try plugging your nose while you talk.  Smell is also an aide in the ability to taste. (Consider country acres of grassy leas and flowers in bloom...Sight and Smell are jointly combined.)

Aromas at Christmas

Turkey, Duck or Goose roasting in the oven.
Scalloped potatoes pre-baked awaiting the reheat.
Scents of carrots and asparagus in mode of preparation.
Candles, scented of course, are lit, inviting family and friends
to gather...and partake of this scrumptious dinner.
And when the stunning dessert of Trifle, Christmas Plum Pudding
or  Pavlova (strawberries and cumquats) makes it way to the table...
how scintillating! My  Senses of Taste, Sight and Smell
simultaneously react to the “nth degree”!

Then there's the forest scent of a freshly cut pine tree,
standing beautifully adorned with the children's absolute focus.

Oh ~ The Smell of the Farm!

These pure country fresh-air odours are undiffused by vehicle emissions, restaurants and industries, stop 'n go lights and abundance of excessive noises.  Freshly cut green lawns and fields of alfalfa packed into bales is a scent unfound in the city.  When grain and corn are harvested, the production of scents wafts through the breezy air.  Best of all ~ the springtime scents from the blossoms of apple, cherry and pear trees in the orchard. 

The cattle are ushered in for their twice-daily-milking and there's definitely a “moo-moo” smell. The “baa-baa's” from the sheep flock produce a woolly smell that only rams and ewes can emit.  Then , there's the attached chicken coop (which might be smelly) where the hens lay their eggs, the roosters crow and in their outer pen enclosure, they peck for food.

But I love picking strawberries. When the quart boxes are filled and placed into  carriers and flats,  the sweet luscious scents make one dream of strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. And, isn’t it so much more enjoyable to frequent the “Farmers Markets” where there is extensive fresh produce of fruits, vegetables and flowers coming directly from the earth to roadside stands (or open parking lots)…where you can chat personally with the growers and where the open country air is saturated with invigorating and inviting aromas?

Dog Sniffers

Dogs have one of the most acute senses of smell
of any creature in the animal world!

They are highly trained to detect the presence of prohibited or regulated substances to pinpoint their locations in airports, parking lots, vehicles, boats...even individuals hiding items on their person. These “detector dogs” search for: smuggling of packed with heroine...weapons and firearms disguised in many forms...currency...specified agricultural  products, etc.

Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA), a current Canadian television series shown on ”Detour” which focuses on crossings and entries by passengers in 4 or 5  Vancouver areas,    at Toronto's Pearson International Airport and Fort Erie's Peace Bridge which spans the Niagara River to Buffalo. The Pacific waters between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island are also subject to inspections. by the CBSA. Thousands of passengers enter into Canada at these points or leave for points outside our country.  “Every passenger has a story ~ it's our job to dig deeper for the truth,” states Lori Miller an CBSA Officer. “Passengers lie, argue, play the victim, plead ignorance and even threaten legal action.”

Canada Border Security Agency has “detector dogs” strategically located across the country...serving both travellers and commercial operations. These dogs, highly trained by their handlers, search for illegal substances.  Each dog, as I view the various programs, is So Excited when he discovers something.  They do not bark!  They instantly sit down on their back haunches, casting a glance to their handler  with the message...”Hey! I found something here!” and wags his tail; the trainer praises his “dog-side-kick”  for his work and awards him the expected and well-earned treat!!!

Detector Dog Helps Custom Officers Sniff Out Plants

Mississauga: Canada Border Services Agency officers seized some “undeclared plants” from travellers at Pearson International Airport recently (December 11) ~ thanks to a Detector Dog!  From Europe, they arrived with:  three bare-root trees...wood cuttings...a shrub with soil...and garlic bulbs...all concealed in the travellers' luggage after “SCOUT” sniffed out the plants in luggage at the baggage carousel inside Terminal 1.  The plant products were not declared by the travellers and were meant for propagation.  CBSA imposed an agricultural administrative monetary penalty for failure to declare under the Government of Canada's Plant Protection Act and Regulation.

Every traveller entering Canada MUST  declare...
all food, plants, animals and related products
because they could affect Canada's animal and  plant habitats.

Watch for my next posting on Senses...HEARING

Merle Baird-Kerr...written June 26, 2014
To respond with comment...e-mail to:  or


  1. DAVID WRITES: "Good Evening, Merle. Read your posting about 'Sense of Smell' which I enjoyed. I lost mine years ago and since quitting smoking, it is gradually returning. Right now, in order for me to smell something, it has to be overpowering. For the past 44 years I never smelled the aromas of Christmas unless I got right on top of them."

  2. So pleased to read that your Sense of Smell returned after your cessation of smoking...and since then all Senses are in working order...hopefully! You had the "common sense" to quit smoking...which takes personal determination.
    Thank you for responding to this article.