“Not Where He Eats, But Where He Is Eaten…”

Polonius would have attracted eaters of rotting flesh if Claudius’ men hadn’t found him soon enough, just as the titan arum at the Botanic Garden is supposed to do.  I wouldn’t know, even though I went down there yesterday to experience the “putrid odor” firsthand.

I was disappointed!  Those sneaky folks handling publicity fail to mention that the odor is only released at night, when the building is closed.  So, the hundreds of people waiting in long lines to see and smell the thing for themselves may just as well stay home and view it on the webcam (http://www.usbg.gov/return-titan).

Part of the Line, With the Capitol in the Background

Part of the Line, With the Capitol in the Background

After waiting forty minutes in the heat, I found myself in the presence of many other curiosity-seekers, every one of whom was armed with a camera or smart phone.  They were not afraid to use them.

The Arum and the Crowd Contemplate Each Other

The Arum and the Crowd Contemplate Each Other

Well, OK, there was this giant flower, and it was pretty spectacular.  But, after looking at it for a few minutes, taking pictures of it, and taking pictures of others taking pictures of themselves and it, it was sort of a letdown that the smell everyone expected wasn’t there.

Wide View of the Crowd

Wide View of the Crowd

Not that anyone was going to throw a fit over it, and the employees and volunteers doing crowd-wrangling couldn’t have been nicer – they must have answered the smell question hundreds of times, yet remained cheerful.  The building was open extra hours, and everyone was welcome to wander through it at will.

Driven Crazy by the (Nonexistent) Smell?

Driven Crazy by the (Nonexistent) Smell?

Picture of Picture of Picture

Picture of Picture of Picture

There are many things to admire about the Botanic Garden.  The bat flowers (Tacca integrifolia), for instance.

And there were little lessons given about gardening and nutrition in raised beds outside, an installation called Food For Thought.  There! I knew I could get a tie-in to food on this post, somehow!

Bat Flower

Bat Flower

Greens Garden

Greens Garden

On the way home, there was the Washington Monument, with its scaffolding illuminated.  Nice!

Washington Monument, Lit

Washington Monument, Lit

About Judy

I have been cooking and eating all my life. I help run the Olney Farmers and Artists Market in Olney, Maryland, arrange their weekly chef demos and blog from that website (olneyfarmersmarket.org) on Market matters. This personal blog is for all things foodie: cookbooks, products, restaurants, eating.
This entry was posted in Events and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *