Friday, June 21, 2013

Have You Sipped Its Nectar This Year?

Honeysuckle.  Along a trail near my house where I walk my dogs there is an overgrown thicket of honeysuckle.  In the evening the dizzying fragrance fills the air.  I cannot resist.  I pluck a flowering branch and pull off a single yellow tube.  I suck out the tiny drop of sweet nectar.  I reach for another. 

Honeysuckle is not native to North America. It was introduced in the 19th Century as an ornamental plant for erosion control.  It thrives throughout the country.  It displaces native plants, kills shrubs and trees as it climbs and weaves, choking off sunlight.  But oh, the pleasure.  The deep nectar reservoir in the long tubular flower is easily managed by visiting hummingbirds.  (The hummingbird's tongue extends well beyond its long beak.  The base of the tongue is at the back of the skull letting the tongue wrap over the head when not in use.)

Honeysuckle blooms in early summer.  If you crave the scent year round, there is a fragrance for that: Burberry London for Women, or Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl Summer.  For now, just take a walk wherever nature runs wild. 

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