Yesterday, I was very glad to see him out front tending to one of his hedges. As I was walking past his house about a week ago, the very slight smell of skunk caused me to pause. If you have ever had a dog sprayed by a skunk, that scent will always cause you to stop and quickly look around, even though your logic is telling you that the skunk you smell has made good use of the moment and moved right along.
After I had confirmed that there was no skunk in my immediate environment, I looked down and saw a plant covered with these intriguing blossoms. I realized the smell was coming from the plant.
I didn't have much time to linger that day and it took a few days for me to get back around to this plant. The question I had in mind was "Did the plant get sprayed by a skunk or does the plant really smell that way?"
This time around Neighbor Frank was out front. We conversed about this, that, and the other, and then I managed to let him know I had a question about a plant in his garden.
"Yes, I am sure I know the plant you are talking about." We walked over to it. "Very stinky. My daughter bought it to help deter dogs and cats. Not sure it really affects them, but it is a very fast grower. The smell keeps me from pruning it very much." What brilliant plant strategy.
However, I don't think this plant is long for Neighbor Frank's yard, if for no other reason than it is threatening to take over a pretty and well behaved pink and white azalea. The fact that his daughter planted it probably causes him to pause, but he is a pruner at heart and his heightened sense of order will probably win the day, and the yard. I was grateful to see, and even smell it when I did. I was reminded yet again of the miracle of creation. It is filled with plants and animals that attract, and those that repel. What a wonderful dance this life is.
No, I was not tempted to take a cutting home. That is the blessing of photography. I can simply let life be.
For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God.