Fragrant Quote for April 30th, 2012-Farm friends and spring flowers By Joshua Hughes Paul, Claude Teancum Barnes, Elizabeth Rachel Cannon Porter

Fragrant Quote for April 30th, 2012-Farm friends and spring flowers
By Joshua Hughes Paul, Claude Teancum Barnes, Elizabeth Rachel Cannon Porter

Fresh air may be a luxury in some countries, but it is a necessity in places of high altitude. On the other hand, the writer has repeatedly noticed that the odors of the out-of-doors become more fragrant and perceptible with increase of altitude. This m...ay be an illusion : but the scent of the sagebrush has no parallel in our expert experience hence, unless it be found in the still keener perfume of the fragrant sumach—the skunk-berry, or squawberry, of our region. In fact, the odors of the crushed foliage of a number of our plants are so strong that they are vulgarly known as stinkweeds. But there is nothing loathsome about these crisp and almost stinging scents; they are distinctly antiseptic; and whoever does not enjoy them seems, to our fancy, to be effeminate, and we may be tempted to call him a "mollycoddle." For whether it be rabbit brush or bee plant, Abronia, the sand-puff, with its orange-blossom fragrance, or the carmine gilia and the Jacob's ladders with their biting, alum-like smells; whether oak-brush or Cottonwood, willow shrubs or torchweed, new-mown hay or sweet clover, each with its strong and penetrating odor—all of them smell good, for they bear the odors of life. They catch the sense with a power that the natural vegetation elsewhere does not seem to attain; while the odor of moisture—even water-vapor seems to have an odor in the semi-arid countries—as it rises from the dashing stream of the mountain gorge in a barely visible mist and cools your reeking face in midsummer—do the favored moist regions possess any luxury of the out-of-doors that is like unto it? The clear stream whirls and bubbles here, or foams and sparkles there, and rushes on and on, while its dewy fragrance and freshness invigorate the air above it, and bring life and joy to the thirsty valleys below. In itself, it is a picture of life, one of the most glorious in uature—"a thing of beauty and a joy forever." Who in the progressive West would seek to deny to the child the right to learn nature's lessons from such sources as this? So, too, the smell of the soil in summer, after a rain, is one of the real joys of Western existence. It is said to owe its peculiar quality, different from anything else in nature, to the soil bacteria, which multiply in the ground at that time. It is, also, the odor of life; it has the flavor of growth, the feeling of power. Shelley has beautifully noticed how

"The snowdrop and then the violet
Arise from the ground by the warm rain wet,
And their breath is mixed with the odor sent
From the turf, like the voice and the instrument."