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  [aroid-l] TitanWatch 5/12/03 #2 I climbed the ladder to do my Carrion beetle act
From: "Craig Allen" callen at fairchildgarden.org> on 2003.05.13 at 23:55:24(10251)
TitanWatch 5/12/03 #2 I climbed the ladder to do my Carrion beetle act

It's happening at last. At 1:30 there was a funny little bulge on the left side of the spathe, by 2:30 there was no doubt, Mr. Stinky is opening as fast as he can. It is now 3:45 P.M. and he has opened app. 20%. Majestic was the adjective used by Caroline Lewis from Fairchild's Education Department.

At 5:30 it is app. 30% open. I'm waiting to catch the first hint of odor, but not yet. The first real odor I could sense was about 8-8:30 PM.

It is now 9:30 and it is very slowly building up odor. The waves are still fairly far apart. It isn't horrible, but it does make people move away from the plant when it is dispersing. Ughhhhhhhh! You don't hear it, it isn't a "fart", it just slowly envelops you in an invisible cloud of putrid gas.

I am so very tired that I'm having a difficult time enjoying the theatrical effects. I just drank a Red Bull energy drink. I know it will give me 2 hours of energy and enthusiasm. So out I go into the Temple for Titans display area. Reuter's news service reporter is here. Their photographer was here earlier. Great, she brought her child. Nothing gets me talking more than explaining the Stinky's to kids. The love him in all his putrid glory. The Voice of America reporter has been here all afternoon and choose to stay for awhile to get the full odiferous effect. He is taping a lots and lots of conversations. A number of people stayed until 10:30 PM. I had a couple of visitors, Mr. and Mrs.Gumpf, drove 4 hours to get here. They video taped a lot of what was going on. He even had an interview with the VOA reporter. The Gumpfs and about 8 others stayed until I left at 2 A.M. At midnight the Miami Herald reporter, Nicholas Spangler, and photojournalist, David Adame, showed up to record the pollination and nausea o
f Mr. Stinky's groupies. At 12:15 in the morning when Mr. Stinky was at full Stinkorama, I climbed the ladder to do my Carrion beetle act and applies the valuable pollen to the receptive female flowers. I had enough pollen to dust three times. Now I will hope. We popped the bottle of Champaign and toasted to a fun but long night's vigil. Those that stayed together can commiserate when the world stinks. And... it did stink, but the odor was probably gone by 5 A.M., not that I was here. The next morning there were hints of odor that continued, but decreasing, all day long. I expect by mid-day tomorrow (or today when you get this report, Wednesday) that the spathe, that beautiful royal robe of burgundy (that imitates rotting meat) will begin to take on a wilted droopy appearance. Also with in a few days the spadix will fall. ...and down will come baby stinker and all.

Craig M. Allen

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