Delight of the day: unexpected fragrance

This poor honeysuckle got absolutely hammered by aphids this spring.  It supported a whole ecosystem of aphid predators including lacewing and syrphid fly larvae, but got stunted and munted in the process, and it’s only been recovering with new growth recently, in time for the first frost of the autumn.  This is the only flower I’ve seen all year, and I instinctively stuck my nose down to investigate, not expecting anything based on the tattered appearance.  But looks are deceiving, as they say, and it’s unexpected fragrance invited a deeper inhale.

Our language is pretty poor in fragrance descriptors, but it if we had a word meaning “tantalizing blush” or “come hither and linger,” it’d be about right. Alluring, complicated.  Probably smells even better to a bug.  It’s the Delight of the Day.

2 thoughts on “Delight of the day: unexpected fragrance

  1. My memory of how you got into botany was the interaction of the bees with the locust tree blossoms next to our house in Schuylerville. We could smell them, but we couldn’t see the minute amounts of nectar they were coming for. Smell is so primal, isn’t it, where a smell can instantly conjure up memories from the past. And I think our sense of smell is probably minimal compared to many other organisms. I love seeing a dog come outside and lift its nose up into the breeze, and we have no idea the flood of messages it is getting.

    • I’ve heard that people who lose their sense of vision end up having a much keener appreciation for smells….but I’m not willing to give up on vision to understand that!

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