Flowers are blooming, fountains are flowing and the Kansas City air is — sweet Jesus, what is that smell?

Ah, spring. No more waking up to pitch-black skies and the whistle of wind through bare tree branches. No more snowplows pushing icy metal sheets off car-sized potholes.

The downside: This time of year stinks.

As a town built on railroad hubs and manure-slathered stockyards, Kansas City is often a little hard on the nostrils. Stop and smell the tulips on Troost, but try to avoid a whiff of these notoriously foul spots.

Missouri River

Lewis and Clark would have discovered nose plugs if they’d journeyed down the Big Muddy in modern times. The industrial toxins and raw sewage might have rotted their quaint little craft. But fishing would have been easy; much of the aquatic life goes belly-up.

Ford’s Claycomo Plant

You gotta be built tough to live near Ford’s Claycomo assembly plant. The color on these American vehicles doesn’t run, but when workers are painting, nearby residents get fumed.

APAC-Kansas Landfill

Life in the suburbs can be sweet, but building little boxes made of ticky-tacky creates plenty of debris. Rainwater and decomposing drywall have mixed to make the stink of rotten eggs so strong that this Overland Park dump has been ordered to close early.

Kansas Speedway

Throw a truckload of tax dollars at an empty expanse of farmland, build a monument to NASCAR and Indy racing and — attention, Wal-Mart shoppers! — you’ve got enough exhaust and tailpipe pollution to choke even the toughest WWE wrestler.

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