Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Because who can resist a flower that smells like rotten meat?

One of the many things I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to drop everything when something interesting comes along. Take this morning, for example. Earlier in the summer, the Chicago Botanic Garden had a titan arum that they thought was going to bloom. Well, Spike (the flower), fooled them all and didn't bloom. Never fear, though, they also had a second that looked as if it would bloom, but decided not to publicize it this time until they were sure. Yesterday they announced that last night was the night and that they would be open at 2 am for people to come and see.

Now, if I was truly the really cool mom, we would've all treked up to the gardens and camped out to see the flower in full bloom. But, I'm a cool mom who really values sleep, so we did the next best thing. We wen this morning. We missed out on a little bit of the fun. The flower had already started to close, so we didn't get to see if fully open, plus it stops emitting its special aroma (the smell of rotting meat, which it uses to attract flies) at sunrise, so we didn't notice any smell, either. But we saw it and it was cool. It is a really huge flower.

Plus it turned into a beautiful morning and it was lovely to walk a bit in the gardens and enjoy the day. Better than a text book any day. And you never know when creativity will strike. Towards the end of our visit, D. asks me if I have something to write with. He's had a great idea for a story and doesn't want to forget it. I do carry a notepad and pen, so D. happily took it and began writing as we walked through the gardens.

Since I'm always showing artwork of other children, it seems only fair to share D.'s creative endeavors. Here is the beginning of his story that he wrote as we walked. (I've only edited his spelling and punctuation, everything else is just as he wrote it.)

"The stones glittered as the man walked down them. His foot steps echoed across the hall. When the man reached his destination at the end of the hall he stopped. As he gazed up at the statue, he took a deep breath. the statue itself was made entirely of pure silver. It was the size of a large tree. The head of it gazed at the ground as though it was looking right into the man's soul. It was a statue of a... ?"

And that's where he came to a stop as he was drawing a blank as to what creature would be magnificent enough for his purposes. If he keeps working on it, I'll let you know what happens.

Now is where I would put a nice picture of some children standing in front of the giant, stinky flower, but I can't. My iPod stopped working when it tried to do the most recent upgrade and I need to take it in to see if it can be fixed. My camera has something wrong with it because I continue to have batteries not work whether they are brand new or newly charged. I think we were the only people there without a camera. I'm afraid you'll just have to use your imaginations.

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