Blossoms That Made Our Cottage Smell Like a Death House With a Maggot-Infested Rotting Corpse
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

I begin this week with a few recent pictures taken from my desk
The clouds over the valley below sometimes make it look like we live on a lake


When we first met Joe and Birdie Lea Corcoran Joe was a CFO of a bank in San Antonio.
Previously Joe retired as an Air Force Colonel. He and Birdie Lea lived in various parts of the world with the
longest stay being at an AFB near Anchorage. They were part of our couples club in San Antonio that met
weekly for cards, dinner parties, and other outings.

Birdie Lea was a tiny bit of a thing who grew up in the tough oil fields of west Texas.
She took great pride in cultivating her many flowers on a sweeping yard. Several years ago, as a widow, she
visited up here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She brought along a number of plants from her outdoor yard.

Some of the plants like the roses she brought to our cottage we could transplant to in our three outdoor gardens.

The roses smell wonderful when Erika cuts them to bring into the cottage.


Our climate is much too harsh for some of Birdie Lea's other plants like her prized Irish Shamrocks.
Erika now has these delicate things potted in every room of our cottage.

Erika propagated some of Birdie Lea's succulent plants throughout our cottage


We did not know much about this "star flower" succulent that Birdie Lea also brought from her back yard.
Erika put it in a new pot by the elevator, and it grew for years without ever producing a single blossom.
Meanwhile back in San Antonio Birdie Lea crossed over to be with her Col. Joe.


Then in August 2014 pods started appearing all over our star flower cactus.
The pods grew to the size of baseballs before bursting forth in star-shaped blossoms.


All went well for about a week until I came in from the yard and smelled this terrible stench throughout the cottage.
I called up to Erika saying that I thought a critter got into the walls somewhere and died.
However, she'd already found the source of the smell of death and was cutting off our star flower blossoms.
The blossoms smell putrid in order to attract maggots and blow flies, neither of which we want in our cottage


Asclepiadaceae : star-shaped flowers ---

Succulent plants, mostly South African, with star shape flowers. Beautiful but stink of putrefied flesh. Pityless with pollinators. How they decive insects at the desert limits. The Jarden Exotique collection in the Principality of Monaco.

Continue to biew a variety of different colors

Asclepiadoideae ---

According to APG II, the Asclepiadaceae is a former plant family now treated as a subfamily (subfamily Asclepiadoideae) in the Apocynaceae (Bruyns 2000).

They form a group of perennial herbs, twining shrubs, lianas or rarely trees but notably also contain a significant number of leafless stem succulents. The name comes from the type genus Asclepias (milkweeds).

There are 348 genera, with about 2,900 species. They are mainly located in the tropics to subtropics, especially in Africa and South America.

The florally advanced tribe Stapeliae within this family contains the relatively familiar stem succulent genera such as Huernia, Stapelia and Hoodia. They are remarkable for the complex mechanisms they have developed for pollination, which independently parallel the unrelated Orchidaceae, especially in the grouping of their pollen into pollinia. The fragrance from the flowers, often called "carrion", attracts flies. The flies pollinate the flowers.

Many new hybrids have been formed due to the unique fertilization method of the flowers.

NPR:  You Can Watch a Rare Stinky-Corpse Flower Bloom Video ---


One year my former secretary, Debbie, at Trinity University sent us this beautiful amaryllis
Life is much sweeter with an amaryllis


I will close this photo set out with a photograph I took last evening when the moon at sunset
was hovering in the northeast over Mt. Washington and my yard flag

Life is good even if it is snowing at the moment.
I like snow but not the ice.


Blogs of White Mountain Hikers (many great photographs) ---


 White Mountain News ---

On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---

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Our address is 190 Sunset Hill Road, Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
Our cottage was known as the Brayton Cottage in the early 1900s
Sunset Hill is a ridge overlooking with New Hampshire's White Mountains to the East
and Vermont's Green Mountains to the West



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