I walked in the forest after an overnight rainstorm the other day. Here are the lovelies I saw greeting me alongside the path:
The other things greeting me were mosquitos. Hundreds of them would descend upon me if I stopped to gather some blueberries, or when I lingered to take pictures of the mushrooms. Even just walking along, they’d home in on my exhalations and dive at my face. Not pleasant. It wasn’t a long walk that day.
But not being long didn’t mean it didn’t smell absolutely wonderful while I was there. It was as if the air was perfumed with heavenly flowers, lush–no, almost plush with heady fragrance. The spiky flowers releasing that scent don’t look lavish, but my oh my do they smell divine. (sorry, the phone camera decided the branch behind the flower was more important to focus on, and the mosquitos weren’t letting me linger for a second shot)
This is Clethra alnifolia, aka summersweet. I had a dwarf variety planted in my Ohio garden, but the one pictured here was the native, wild variety–taller than me and loaded with fragrant flowers. They grow in profusion along the pathways in the Shark River Park. Sometimes the scent was so strong that it carried a good distance on the humid breeze. Mmmm. Nice.
See–wild berries to eat, cool mushrooms to view, great flowers to smell, and mosquitos to keep you moving right along. Walking in the park is good for more than just the soul! 🙂
Also, just a small note: in case you haven’t noticed, it’s August 1st. That means July is over (strange how that works, isn’t it?). If you’ve been paying attention, I mentioned here that I intended to write 25,000 words in July, despite chaos from trying to close on a house long-distance. How did I do? I made it! Yesterday I wrote the last few hundred words necessary (and a few hundred more, ’cause I was on a roll in the scene!), to make my grand total just over 60,000 words! Woo hoo! Today I celebrated by buying mini ice cream bars! The sweet taste of success-most literally.