Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Century Plant

I saw an article in the evening paper Tuesday night about a Century plant in Fort Walton that has bloomed.

Century plants only bloom once in their lifetime and when they do bloom the plant sends up a 25 to 30 foot stalk topped with big yellow flowers.

I've seen lots of Century plants but never one in bloom and I decided that we needed to ride over and take a look. Considering Century plants are not native to this area this could be a once in a lifetime sight.

I wanted to surprise everyone so I told them we were going to see something awesome but I wouldn't tell them what.

The Island King and the kids spent the car ride over trying to guess what I was taking them to see.

The world's biggest ball of string, a 5 legged squirrel and a marker that says "An Indian Walked Here" were just some of the possibilities they came up with.

The Island King told stories of what he calls Mom's Misadventures (a hot air balloon festival that had no hot air balloons, a trip to a book swap in the middle of a country club and more)and the kids were laughing pretty hard. He told them to brace themselves because there was no telling where I was taking them.

My dad was coming over to spend the day with us so I called him and had him meet us at a shopping center near the street the plant was on but I wouldn't tell him what we were going to see either.

We turned onto the street the Century plant is on and TaDaH!

There is a 30 foot stalk with huge yellow flowers on top. It's a gorgeous plant.

The newspaper said that a neighbor used his truck to attach a guide wire to help keep the stalk from falling over and he's braced one side of it with a wooden post. The plant is on a slight slope and the stalk was leaning quite a bit so he decided to secure it.

The paper went on to say that the woman who owns the house was given the plant about 25 years ago by a friend. On a sad note the owner died just a short time ago but the neighbor says she was able to see it bloom before she died.

Kind of ironic since now that the plant has bloomed it's come to the end of it's life as well.

My dad and the Island King both agreed that this was an interesting sight and they were glad we'd come.

The kids, on the other hand, were a different story. "I can't believe we drove over here to look at a plant" they said.

They don't get it yet but one day they'll realize that seeing this plant first hand was neat.

It turns out that the Island King and my dad have both seen a Century plant bloom before - not often but they have seen it. I guess I'm the only one who had never seen one.

While we were there a lot of cars came by and since this is a quiet back street it's obvious that I'm not the only person who wanted to come and look at it.

I noticed several people taking pictures of it from their cars but we were the only family posing in front of it LOL

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