When you hear people complaining about Washington and its evil ways, chances are they’ve added a lot of their own bile to the noxious mixture brewed by representatives from all 50 states. It hardly seems fair to blame Washington.
One of the things, other than politics, people like to complain about in Arlington and the Washington metropolitan area is the humidity. And they have a point. During our latest heat wave, I emerged from a grocery store at 9:30 pm into a mass of hot air that seemed to push back. That was humidity. It’s the reason walking into the shade on a hot day doesn’t usually help around here. The humidity holds the heat in the air.
On the other hand, throughout the spring and summer I’m always catching scents of blossoms that linger or flow with air currents. There used to be little leaf lindens at an office complex near my apartment. The scent of their blossoms would flow downhill and between our buildings into the courtyard. My neighbors were always asking what it was. Banks of roses at the same office complex send their perfume downhill where it hangs out at the backs of the buildings. Perfume from the hollies and the crape myrtles drifts as well and the magnolia blossoms cast their citrus scent in all directions.
This does not happen in a dry climate. The scent stays near its point of origin because there is nothing in the air for it to grab onto. Air currents just dissipate it. I was in the garden of the Villa Melzi in Bellagio, Italy recently and came upon some massed lavender.
In Arlington, that scent would have been spread around. In the delightful and dry air of Bellagio, you had to be on the walk by the blossoming plants to enjoy their smell. So if you hear about a place where the air is perfumed, it’s probably at least a little bit humid.