This was the most unusual cloud formation I’ve ever seen. (An “anvil” cloud, as a dear friend taught me.) I watched it billow and balloon as I made the drive to see something even more unusual.

Meet Octavia.

I first saw her on Friday night at the Botanical Garden during a visit with my oldest, dearest friend.

Octavia is a corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) and she was a closed bud when we visited on Friday (left). Corpse flowers only bloom every 7 – 10 years and the bloom only lasts 24 – 48 hours. So it’s a pretty rare and special phenomenon. Late afternoon on Sunday, I got the email that Octavia had finally opened (right). So off I went.

Octavia is 75 inches tall — the tallest the Garden has ever had by a full foot! She’ll collapse under her own weight today or possibly tomorrow.

Her foul scent wasn’t in full force when I got there, so I’m happy to have missed that. But I’m really glad I got to see her. And how awesome is our Botanical Garden that they remained open to visitors – free of charge – until 1:00 a.m?? We are so very lucky to have them here.

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