• Jenny Lynn Keller

Summer Smoke


In case you haven’t noticed by now, I like blooms. Flowers, shrubs, trees, vines—I’m not picky if it’s covered with flowers. So I’m shining my Southern-Fried Friday spotlight on the smoke bush, also called smoke tree. Southern summers encase the bush with tiny pink flowers, and the effect is a fuzzy pastel smoke plume. Add a little morning fog or rainy mist, and the bush becomes a shimmering shroud floating through the air like a ghost. The native variety has lighter pink flowers but creates just as much “smoke,” and all varieties give an encore in the fall when their leaves turn every shade of yellow and red.

You will be impressed with the multi-season beauty of smoke bush almost as much as I was last week with your willingness to help me with my writing course homework. Thank you to everyone posting an answer, and I’d appreciate your thoughts on question two—When reading a novel, what part of the story moves you to love it versus like it? Is it usually the characters, plot twists, theme, setting, writing style, ending, or something else making it memorable or worthy of a recommendation to others?

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