Friday, March 10, 2006

First place goes to...

...Magnolia zenii, the best smelling plant in the National Arboretum today!

The weather was rocking -- temps in the 70s-- so I took the Boy (and the dog) to the Arboretum. It was our first visit since discovering the delightfully fragrant wintersweet in January. We were walking around the same general area, along the ridge overlooking the Anacostia River, but my nose led us to two Magnolia zenii instead. The trees were very tall, and growing in a gully leading down from the ridge. And they were getting into their bloom, with soft, pale petals emerging from fuzzy husks. I waved a branch under the Boy's nose so that he could get the scent. But the petals tickled his nose, and he laughed!

Walking along the river, the Boy got to see some geese and, of course, the flow of the Anacostia.

Despite the beautiful day, there was a lot of wind. It gusted up while I was showing the boy the thick, waxy, rhododendron-like leaves of a giant Magnolia tree (and extricating said leaves from his mouth). We ducked underneath the leaves, and found incredible shelter. The huge limbs of the tree dipped back down to the earth in places, and reemerged elsewhere as a separate trunk. It was very easy to walk among these limbs, with the dome of leaves overhead providing a still, quiet, and dark canopy.

I tickled his nose with some other petals, and he laughed again. What a sweet kid.

Unfortunately, his sippy-cup full of water leaked, so I had to bring him back home. It was a fun trip anyway. (Friend AW really missed out when he passed on the invitation to come along.)

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