by Neil Stalter | Zoom Out Mycology
The lovely smell that follows a spring rain as you sit on your porch and enjoy the sound of drips pattering on the lawn is so loved that it has earned the distinct honor of its own word, “Petrichor”. Somewhat less romantic is the source of the smell: a mix of plant oil and bacterial by-product. Despite that, when I was young, living in Conesus New York, I learned to love rainy days. There is something especially relaxing about being inside while the sky outside is unleashing millions of gallons of water onto the earth. But rain is also synonymous with sadness and difficulty; for good reason. Rain, in all of its forms, causes billions of dollars in damage in the US every year. But there is one effect of rain that is less obvious than flooding or acid rain. Every time it rains, all of those millions of gallons of water that tumble onto the ground need to go somewhere—and not all of it soaks into the soil below our feet. All that water that rolls off of your roof, through your yard, and over the street is called storm water runoff. This runoff is incredibly good at picking up whatever it comes in contact with as it travels downward to the lowest elevation. Dirt, nutrients, trash; storm water does not discriminate. By some twist of fate, the nutrients that it picks up as it travels actually cause significant damage to the surrounding ecosystem.
Our Environmental Science blog strives to explain and expose environmental topics and concerns to a wide audience. We hope that this knowledge will help all of our readers embrace a healthy and sustainable lifestyle!