April 4th. A Day at Como Zoo and Conservatory in Saint Paul. The the flowers are blooming despite the conditions outside. It started to rain mid-way through the zoo, so we ‘escaped’ in the conservatory…along with everyone else from the zoo! Como Zoo and Conservatory remind me of a downsized Gateway Park in San Francisco. The zoo and conservatory are free- though donations are accepted and appreciated. At fist I was worried to let Nishad freely walk among all the beautiful flowers- I was worried what would happen if he picked a flower… Then I quickly came to the realization that I’m sure that he wouldn’t be the first child to do so if he did. Part of learning is exploring… So, I let him explore. He leaned over and smelled many flowers. Even gently touched a few- he didn’t pick even one petal.
We were also there in time to view the Corpse Flower. This rare tropical plant is native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Due to over-harvesting and habitat loss the corpse flower is vulnerable to extinction. When it blooms it smells like rotting flesh for two days. Lovely, eh? I can see why over-harvesting was a problem!