Search for:

I Followed My Nose

It always knows ….

Magnolia Bud
Magnolia Bud

… the sweet scent of Magnolia in bloom.

I was walking through Foster’s Botanical Garden and came to a convergence of paths.  Which way to go?  I studied the beginning of each trail for clues of what wonders might be.  The paths are winding and one did not look more promising than another.  Straight ahead?  Right?  Left?  Eeney-meeny-miny-moe … I discarded the idea of going left.  Left would lead me back to the clearing and the musical bandstand.  Been there.  Done That.

Right?  I knew that the Chinese Garden was in that general direction.  Straight ahead?  I dug the crumpled trail guide out of my back pocket.  The path straight ahead lead to first an herb garden, then wrapped around and came back to the Chinese Garden.  Fine.  Straight ahead it was.

I took two steps.  Two — and stopped dead.  My head tipped back.  My nose went up.  My eyes closed.  And pure joy permeated my soul.  Magnolia. Heavenly.  And the scent was coming from the North.

I was surprised.  I had already been north.  I was north when Amoeba played his concert here, and I was north earlier that very day.  I didn’t remember seeing a Magnolia Tree, but I followed my nose just the same.

Well, it turns out I was completely correct.  The path I was on did, indeed, lead to the bandstand, but between where I was and the bandstand area, was a whole different world of giant ferns, huge boulders, and one — just one — magnolia blossom and one burgeoning bud.

Giant Fern
Giant Fern

I felt as though I had stepped into the land of the giants.  This fern was easily 10 feet tall.  I had to back off the trail and into the bushes to capture it in its entirety.  I have no idea why I didn’t photograph one of the rocks.

Anyway, back to the Magnolia blossom — it was the size of a dinner plate.  One open blossom and one opening bud, yet I smelled them from yards away.  I followed my nose and then stood in awe I don’t know how long before it finally dawned on me to take a photo!  I had to climb on a bench, jump onto a huge rock, and stand on my tippy-toes at the edge (literally defying gravity and certain injury) to get this photo.  I am amazed it turned out as well as it did.  I wasn’t even looking through the view finder.  I just held the camera in the air over my head and clicked!

Magnilia Blossom
Magnilia Blossom

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. I guess the Noses have it, Glad you followed your nose and found these beautiful sites to picture and share with us.

    I was going to make some sort of Wise Acre comment about the Beatles “Following the Sun” but I thought better of.

    Congrats on the Award Dr John gave ya. You truly deserve it as your blog is Brilliant.

  2. Ohhhhhh surprises like THAT are just the BEST! Were you ALLOWED to be jumpin’ off benches onto big rocks or were you just doin’ it anyway – like I would? (don’t EVER ask! Do NOT give them the opportunity to say “no”…)

    You know… I really came over to tell you that the description of that Lotus Elise sounds JUST like you!!! You like to travel light and fast, hit the corners hard, and dance like there’s no tomorrow. That’s my Quilly!!!

  3. I can almost smell them….Wow what gorgeous specimens. I think those blossoms are perfection.

  4. Bill — why, thank you. How sweet.

    Melli — I didn’ t ask if I was allowed or not. I just climbed onto the bench, stepped over the guard chain and onto the rock. However, a groundskeeper saw me and didn’t come screaming after me yelling stop, so I guess that’s the same as having permission, right?

    Nea — the perfume was heady and sweet. Since the whole tree had only the two blossoms (those dozens of brand new buds) it could afford to put the energy into making them perfect.

  5. Absolutely goregous! Sure am glad you sorta broke the rules for us. Ahhh, the sacrifices you make for your readers.

  6. Ferns abound over here but I have never ever seen one that big. That is amazing! And goodness that Magnolia is perfect. I love that smell. Isn’t it amazing how God made something so beautiful and heavenly?

  7. Shelly — it’s my pleasure. 😉

    Jules — God is THE master artist. We can only copy.

    Pretty — thank you. I’m on my way.

  8. I adore magnolias. ‘Course, if they ever make scratch and sniff computers, I’m changing my answer to tuberose. 😀

  9. magnolia blossoms are great but magnolia trees are the bane of my existance. The leaves from a magnolia tree takes decades to degrade so with a huge one in the front yard and the yard behind us full of them, it’s a never ending battle raking magnolia leaves. Especially since they drop lots of leaves year round…

  10. The magnolia bud and blossom pics seem to represent precious, fragile beauty!

    As for the ferns, they can be a giant size! When I lived in Tasmania, many ferns in the Western Tiers area were humungous, almost like trees without trunks!

  11. lol at ‘the land of the giants’

    this is a beautiful magnolia, and a very beautiful fern. i dare say they are the most beautiful fern and magnolia i have ever seen!

    it leaves me with just *one* question.

    what about that new job?

Comments are closed.