Have you ever strolled through a forest after a rain and enjoyed the fresh scent of pine? An aroma simultaneously soothing and invigorating. A smell reminiscent of vacations spent in the mountains, or evening walks through groves of conifers in a city park.
A feature in DownEast – The Magazine of Maine, recently shared how balsam, fir, hemlock, spruce, pine, cedar infuse the air with their tonic of resinous scent after storms or showers.
It seems in the fleeting fraction of a second, when the raindrops hit the ground, they flatten into pancakes and trap miniscule bubbles that rise, pulling with them the smell of the needle-strewn ground beneath the trees and then burst, bathing the area in their own perfume.
Of all the wildflowers of fall, goldenrod gets my vote as one of the loveliest. After all it was chosen as the brand symbol for Goldenrod tablets. (As the writer in the linked post notes, it’s difficult to find information on these tablets used by many children throughout the twentieth-century. – I learned of them from my parents, and I have seen one personally.)
In later years, when, for whatever reason, allergies became an epidemic, sufferers steered clear of goldenrod, considering it a trigger for symptoms.
Modern day research proved ragweed, a plant that blooms during the same season as goldenrod was the real culprit.
I am very lucky to have such lovely spots to see the sun set as I travel home from town. Red sky at nigh, sailors’ delight the saying goes. This sky seems to bode fair weather, or at least favorable winds for the morrow.
However one refers to this flower, it’s certainly a lovely feature of fence rows, fallow fields, vacant city lots. I’ve seen it in different sizes, apparently varied varieties, from tiny and bluish to large and shaded or lined with pinkish hues.
I encountered this one on a late summer walk. Had to share this simple and casual, yet beautiful and inspiring, blossom. Hedge bindweed as a title doesn’t really do this one justice. It seems quite glorious. Since I’m not a professional botanist, I suppose I may call it what seems appropriate.
A starting point for a late summer stroll, this fence is lined with ripened thistle plants. The down lines the homes of American Goldfinches, those bright yellow birds often referred to as “wild canaries”.
My mom spoke of a smoke bush she knew of as a child. I never saw one till I was well into adulthood. Now there are a few I look for every summer, on lawns of my home town.
I discovered a collection of them this year at a horticultural research facility. It was a lovely day and I was in need of a walk to stretch my muscles and de-stress my mind.
I was grateful for the refreshing summer breezes on the moderately hot day and the billowy blooms of these unique shrubs. The rounded pink, puffy clumps seemed appropriate to the spirit of the weather and of my mood as I strolled the paths of the well planned, nature focused gardens.
My brief scan of information about them tells me they are related to the sumacs. Now that I know, I can recognize the relationship, but I likely wouldn’t have guessed.
“Cool and Green and Shady“, the song is called. I won’t type the lyrics to avoid the royalty police, but if you haven’t heard the tune, please check it out.
There’s nothing better than relaxing in nature, staring up at blue sky, whether the view is wide and open, or framed by the timbers of a dilapidated building, feathery leaves and spruce branches.
What, more than sky, whether cerulean and smooth, or black and dotted with dainty stars at night, inspires our thought processes, triggers our desire to know more, the realization we will likely never know anything for sure while our feet remain on the ground.