It took four thunderstorms and a bout of hail, but the weather is much improved this morning. The temperature is about 10 degrees cooler, and the atmosphere has gone from soupy to every-day run-of-the-mill hazy.
As a result, both Dog and I were in the mood for a decent walk this morning. The sky was still reddish at sunrise, which may not bode well for the weather later in the day, but for now it is nice. We headed down the lane, and near the bottom of the hill I was suddenly almost over-powered by a scent so wonderful, so strong and exotic that it’s hard to believe I wasn’t in some wonderful tropical jungle. What was it? Why, today’s photo tells the tale. It’s honeysuckle, of course.
Now honeysuckle is a perfectly fine name, but even it doesn’t do justice to the scent that emanates from this plant. It’s the only floral scent that one-ups a rose, in my opinion. And it’s a wild plant, not some hot house, imported sissy that faints outside of perfectly controlled conditions. How’s that for amazing?
Now for the science purists in the audience, I should report a bit of the techie stuff associated with the plant, so here it is. Worldwide, so far more than 180 species of honeysuckle are found, with more than 100 of those species native to China. North America and Europe can only boast about 20 species of the plant. Most have berries that are described as mildly poisonous, which seems an odd phrasing to me because any kind of poisonous isn’t something I would ever associate with the word "mild."
I could have stood there all day, getting high or at least well-blissed on that scent. The particular bush that enraptured me today is good-sized and well-covered with blooms, but I still wouldn’t have expected the scent to linger for some 50 feet beyond the plant but it did. That alone is amazing. Who needs some distant tropical jungle when the honeysuckle is in bloom? Not me, that’s for sure.