In 2016 the Vancouver Parks Board acquired a botanical oddity native to Sumatra, Indonesia. On June 21, 2018 horticulturalists at Vancouver’s Bloedel Conservatory spotted a 28 centimetre bud on titan arum, the world’s largest and rarest flowering plant. commonly known as corpse or carrion flower. Over a 40 year lifespan this prehistoric behemoth might bloom 3 times for 24-48 hours. Bloom characterized by the stench of rotting meat, mother nature’s ruse to trick carrion eating beetle and insect pollinators. Gardeners at Bloedel dubbed their prize Uncle Fester.
Barely 6 years old, Uncle Fester wasn’t supposed to bloom for several years. Fester’s petals started to open Sunday, for 2 days public frenzy to catch a whiff of Fester meant waiting in line for several hours. A five minute walk from home, I considered joining the queue last night. A co-worker’s text – “waited an hour and fifteen, petals closed, no smell” – kept me home. All the same, putrid or not, Fester is a natural wonder.
The lineup to see (and smell) the flower, which is expected to emit its stench for up to 48 hours, stretched out front of the Bloedel Conservatory on Monday morning. (Margaret Gallagher/CBC)
Southwestern British Columbia summer has arrived. A gallery of festival and street faces captured by my husband –
Enlarge and explore at – https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/
Gallery of my husband’s photographs – first three taken this weekend at the Vancouver Tattoo Show, next four alley images shot over the past few weeks.
Regrettably my Saturday meant working fourteen hours making a wedding fabulous. My husband on the other hand was free to take in Vancouver’s annual zombie walk –
All faces captured by my street roaming husband at – https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/
If Saturday morning demands jumping out of bed at 5 am, the job site should always be high above the forest floor. Guests were met at Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver with chocolate biscotti and a mug of grand marnier hot chocolate. Steps before the 137 meter long, 70 meter high crossing of the Capilano River, mini scones topped with seared pork belly and a fried quail egg fortified guests. Reaching solid ground called for smoked salmon lollipops. Meandering trail gave way to a series of steps, up to the “tree house” for a bite of mini quiche. Up, up, up across the canopy – I’m waiting with candied lemon topped smoothies.
Presiding over the last nibble, my boss carefully places sculpted noodle “bird nests” on a tree stump. Park staff warned us of cheeky chipmunks – nary a peep until filling nests with ginger doughnuts. Let me assure you, cheeky doesn’t begin to describe the goal oriented tenacity of that chipmunk. Given countless opportunity to stand down, pleas of polite reason, stern admonishment, it simply wouldn’t listen. No one punches a chipmunk in the face without good reason. Instinct, not malice, sent that chipmunk flying 3 feet to the ground. Regrettable but necessary, chipmunk shook it off and graciously relented.
If you have to get out of bed at the crack of dawn, I recommend it be for a perch high above the forest floor.
My perch, 110 feet high
Good morning Mr. Banana Slug
Care for a smoothie?
As seen from my vantage point
Decent weather and a work free weekend allowed two days of adventure with my husband. Nothing crazy, just a mutual fondness for starting the car and seeing where it takes us. The unspoken prize – stumbling upon sweet spots a stone’s throw from home. “Let’s go for a drive” is a call for fresh eyes on everything taken for granted. An opportunity to meander peacefully from confines of routine. Late Sunday afternoon, Lighthouse Park couldn’t have been any sweeter.
Notes at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver
View from Lighthouse Park – https://www.flickr.com/photos/15574096@N00/