Field Trip


I’ve been told that I think about death a lot. This is true; for as long as I can remember I have been interested in the subject. Some have said that I think about death too much. I do not agree. I think of it just the right amount, because I am not afraid of death. I consider it one of the few mysteries still left and I enjoy learning as much as possible until the time when I experience death personally, as we all will. 

I just searched for “death” here in the blog and found that I have written on the subject many times. OK, I admit it, more than I thought. You may do a search from the Home page if you are interested in reading more on the subject. 

Field Trip

One of my daughters approached me recently about our taking a trip to Yew Dell Gardens near here. It is a lovely place that I have enjoyed in the past, but could not see going there in the middle of winter. Then she confessed her motive and I was onboard immediately! We picked up my other daughter and the three of us bundled up to visit Yew Dell Gardens in January.

It turns out there is a very special flower in the greenhouse at Yew Dell that only blooms once each year and the bloom only lasts about 2 days, so there is a short window of time for viewing. We were there for the “viewing” of the Corpse Flower!



(from Ancient Greek amorphos, “without form, misshapen” + phallos, “penis“, referring to the shape of the prominent spadix) per BING

There are many interesting facts about the corpse flower (other than its name) and I recommend you read up or even better watch it go from dormant to fully bloomed to doomed on YouTube in just over two minutes of time lapsed photography.

I’ll tell you about our experience.

The moment we opened the door to the greenhouse we were greeted with a very unpleasant and overwhelming odor. The three of us had varying opinions of the smell, but I insist it was not like a decomposing body, which is what we expected.

The plant, from China, was over five feet tall and I understand they can reach ten feet. It was beautiful in an odd way in spite of its lingering odor. The colors were very dark purple or maybe wine (petals and stamen) and off white (seeds). The texture looked fibrous and tough and a bit like skin. I can best show you with this slideshow of photos we took while there. I wish there was a way to share the odor as easily!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you want to see it bloom on YouTube:

If you want to know more:

“If smart technology can transform 3-D from a crude novelty to a genuine visual enhancement, why shouldn’t a sophisticated odor synthesizer follow a similar path?” Charles Platt

Thank you to Allison Puckett for the photos.


4 thoughts on “Field Trip

  1. Sounds like you had a great experience Auntie. I have not seen that plant, but am familiar with it. There are a number of plants whose blooms smell like rotted meat or something similar. This attracts insects and aids in pollination. Nature at its finest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have shared some interesting observations about death. Some have made me think, some have made me more aware, and some have been experiences that I have been through.

    I had read about that unusual flower and about its smell. I am sure it was an experience that you will remember for a long time. I read a book many years ago(can’t recall the title right now) about the future. One of the inventions was movie theaters that emitted smells to go along with the scenes in the movie. That might be good or bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny when I first saw that beautiful plant growing on youtube it reminded me of
    something , but what ?

    Liked by 1 person

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