Thursday, May 2, 2013

American Smellscapes: Finger Pointing in Homer, Alaska

Springtime has brought an unprecedented off-odor to Homer, Alaska, a town of 5,000 souls located near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula. Michael Armstrong, a staff writer at the Homer News, does a nice job of conveying the character of the stink.
• Start with a generous dose of wet dog;
• Add a sprinkle of sewage sludge;
• Toss in a dead sea otter;
• Throw in that yucky black stuff at the bottom of an unturned compost heap;
• Marinade in fresh horse manure, and
• Let stand in a sealed 5-gallon bucket.
 Open the bucket a week later, take a deep whiff and prepare to gag.
But the fun really starts when he explores possible sources of the stench. Everyone he interviews has a different theory. Among the suspects: a poorly drained lawn at Bishop’s Beach park, pig-poop contaminated dirt from the Matanuska Valley, the Public Works sewage lagoon, the Beluga Slough wetlands, uncollected dog turds, and anaerobic bacteria in the soil. There seems to be plenty of blame to go around.

No comments: