ORRIN MORRIS: Mock orange citrus fragrance catches your attention

One day, during my meditation time, I happened across a verse in the Book of Proverbs that reminded me of the political arenas into which we are thrust through November.

"Better is the poor man who walks in his integrity than he who willfully goes in double and wrong ways, though he is rich." Proverbs 28:6 (Amplified Bible).

The phrase "goes in double and wrong ways" refers to those who are two-faced and those who willfully mislead you.

On a lighter note, the phrase also reminds me of the many changes in weather we have experienced since Jan. 1. Once or twice each month the weather has been so mild or hot that I checked the address on my junk mail to see if I still live in Georgia or have moved to Florida. Other months it has been so dry that it felt like Arizona.

Speaking of Florida, the wildflower today has a common name that we associate with a major export of our neighboring state to the south, the orange.MOCK ORANGE

Philadelphus inodorusMock orange, from which I made this sketch, was along the outcrop trail at Panola Mountain State Park. When in bloom, the citrus-like fragrance catches your attention but may trigger sneezing, too.

Mock orange, sometimes called wild orange, is native to the South. It thrives in dense hardwood groves. This shrub may grow to 8 feet. It bears white to cream-colored blooms about 1 inches in diameter.

The four petals are cup-shaped with many orange stamens and a club-shaped pistil. The flowers may appear as early as February when January weather is very mild.

The bark of the mock orange is reddish-brown and peals off much like that of the sparkleberry shrub. The leaves are ovate, that is, generally oval but pointed at the end. They also have jagged edges, as sketched, and indented veins.

May we move toward the November elections with an emotional and spiritual maturity that rejects the bitter divisiveness that plagues our nation and community. In such an environment there are no winners and all of us are losers.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His e-mail is odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com or call him at 770-929-3697.