Sunday, June 24, 2018

I Moved to Linden Avenue!

A blossoming linden tree. I'm pasting below a blog I wrote a few years ago about linden trees and flowers. Click the photo to enlarge. 
The American linden tree, Tilia americana, is also called basswood, lime tree, white wood, and bee tree. This blog is normally about wildlife, but I'm taking a moment to praise the linden trees that are blossoming in New York right now. In a city not noted for smelling good, the event is a delightful occasion. 

Linden tress smell fresh, green, flowery, and sweet -- a little like melon, a little like honey. The smell wafts hauntingly around the trees and spreads on warm breezes. It makes me stop and inhale. It smells so good that I look forward to passing each linden on my daily route, especially a big old tree on the northeast corer of Central Park West at 66th Street; its flower-covered branches droop over the sidewalk and diffuse perfume all around. 

Lindens are native to eastern North America. They are common in cities, suburbs, and forests, so a lot of places smell good right now. Closely related trees, also called lindens, grow throughout the Northern hemisphere. They are prized for their beauty. Their wood is especially valued by carvers -- linden wood decorates the great cathedrals of Europe. Linden leaves and flowers are used for perfumes and teas. Honey made from linden flowers has a light minty herbal taste that is renowned among honeys. 

Aromatherapists use linden to "calm and relax the body and the mind." We could use more of that. We should plant more lindens. 

I wrote a few other posts about linden trees after this one in past Junes. Click here. Or here. I really like linden trees. Then a funny linden-related thing happened. You'll see in the right hand side bar section "about me" that I added a June 2018 update. In short, I retired and moved out of New York City. I'm now living about 15 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, so there will be no lack of urban wildlife to discover. I am also close to the New Jersey Pine Barrens, which is full of interesting things. But the cool thing is  -- I moved to a street called Linden Avenue, and when the leaves on the winter street trees opened in spring I realized that the tree in front of my new home is a linden! And each of my close neighbors has a huge spreading linden out front, too. There are more up and down the block and they are all blooming right now so the air here is sweet with the smell of linden flowers -- fresh, green, flowery and sweet.  Like honey, melon, and limes. Ahhh. 

No comments:

Post a Comment