Sunday, June 01, 2014

Honeysuckle Adds Fragrance to the June Air

Honeysuckle decorates our country roadsides with charming beauty right now. Climbing upward and over small trees or spreading along untended fence rows, the honeysuckle’s white and yellow blossoms are thick and lovely on this beginning of June.

I have a strong emotional attachment to honeysuckle going back to my childhood.  At the end of our front porch across from the school in Jonesboro, there was a wall of honeysuckle giving off its wonderful aroma when we sat down to rest or swing on the glider there.  Someone taught me how to pick a bloom and suck the sweetness out. I have used honeysuckle in flower arrangements for weddings or everyday bouquets.  And I have fond long-ago memories when we first moved to this country road of rolling down the car windows to smell the honeysuckle along our road when I came home late at night from play practices. Later when we first built this house, Gerald even planted some on the end of our deck outside our bedroom door. 

It took over and became troublesome, and we had to give it up, although there is plenty over on our tiny island in the lake. Nevertheless, when I first heard the term “invasive species” about my beloved honeysuckle, I felt personally attacked.  It took a hike along with the school children following a worker at Shawnee National Forest to convince me that maybe that word was more accurate than I wished.  The worker explained how necessary to was for them to make forays into the forest to cut out the honeysuckle lest it completely crowd out other plant life.

So in spite of myself, I think of that when I enjoy the abundant roadside honeysuckle in all its glory right now.  The birds will spread its berry seeds in places where it will be unwelcome. In the meantime, the bees and hummingbirds and I will enjoy it just as the early pioneers did when it twined around their cabin doors.    


Anonymous said...

Your comments about honeysuckle brought back many memories for me as well. I loved driving out by Uncle Ogle's house at night and smelling the honeysuckle. But mostly I remember the whip-poor-wills calling at night when we would be sitting on their porch. For 50 years now I have lived in Central Illinois and would like to hear them again. Just yesterday when working in the garden I heard "bob white." That is the first I remember hearing that here, too; although my husband remembers hunting quail for his grandmother to eat. He must have been too good at it! Thanks for the memories.
Janet Burcham

Sue Glasco said...

Thanks for your memories also, Janet. Good to remember your Uncle Ogle again and think about the reunion get-togethers that the family had each year. I was always impressed with how that set of cousins kept in touch with one another to the very end. Touching. Thanks for visiting and commenting.