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