Fragrant Quote for October 17th-2012-Witch Hazels Ethereal Odor By Charles Goodrich Whiting

Witch Hazel


Now and again one comes on a group, a community rather, of the wild rose, and with blossoms here and there as lovely as those of June. In another community we shall see the little royal purple laurel, the sheep laurel, blooming as if its time were not four months past. These are of course " sports,"—accidents of the rare autumnal heats; and there is yet one more notable, the pillared mullein amid its brown seed vessels strikes out a new sweet yellow flower for the bees to seek, and at its top sends forth a new essay at greater height in a sprout as fresh and green and full of bloom as it were just beginning its destiny of fruit. Furthermore, one finds the great plant of the Indian poke with its ruddy stalks and great green leaves whose borders are growing red, and its berries in panicles of most royally dark crimson, while still the pink-white blossoms persist in coming out at the ends of the stems.
Of course the juniper and the cedar are blue with their masked cones, and the silvery lights amid their greens add an elusive grace to the charm, while over the fences and up the cedars climbs the bittersweet, with its pendants of orange berries, whose yellow envelopes have fallen back to display them. The poison sumach is now most splendid, and its drooping stems of whitish berries add to its effect. Now and then, too, one may hap to see by a rill side the unrivaled cardinal flower, and a colony of fringed gentians, the most exquisite of fall flowers, and the most capricious. Then, most characteristic of all of the season, there steals upon the nostrils the wild magic of the witch hazel's fragrance, so slight, so subtle, so penetrating, so spiritual, that nothing else in the odours of field and forest can be compared with it.