When I was - oh - about six or seven my father brought me to a carnivorous plant exhibit at a botanical gardens in St. Louis (I'm from Nebraska but have relatives who live there). I had read about carnivorous plants but had never actually seen any. My imagination was really kicking when we pulled up to the building in which they were housed. As I turned the corner into the exhibit, apart from being greeted with some of the most magical looking life on the planet, I distinctly remember that biting, almost sour smell of peat and sphagnum. Maybe it was part emotional and part just having smelled it distinctly for the first time (and therefore correlating that smell to that excitement), but I've always really enjoyed the smell of peat.
Later in life this translated into an equal love for real peatty scotch.
But I digress. At any rate, whenever I enter the west portion of my house (where my plants are kept), and I start to smell that acidic, peaty smell again, I get all excited and just have to walk the extra ten feet to check out the plants for the day. I'll stand there for fifteen minutes with my glasses pulled down to my nose, examining the movement and growth of each plant (how it's curled around a bug, or how a new pitcher is evolving). But that smell, it always gets me. Whether I'm looking at someone else's collection or my own, I sometimes feel the need to nose over the top of a couple plants and just get the full experience.
We're all a bit "strange" given that we even have this interest in the first place, but I'm wondering if I'm the strange among the strange for having such a full sensory-based love of these plants. I feel the leaves of my pitcher plants, I listen as the soil pops a bit while water seeps in, and so forth. About the only thing I haven't done is tasted the plants
Call me weird, but I really love this hobby. Such wonderful little plants.