Rabbi Mark Melamut, the new rabbi at the Upper Valley Jewish Community in Hanover, said the community gathering and prayer vigil will take place at 7 p.m. tonight on the green. It is expected to last until 8 p.m., rain or shine.
Our vigil of solidarity will include readings, memorial prayers, and songs of hope, healing and consolation. We’ll mention the names of those whose lives were brutally taken and support each other in sacred gathering.
May the unity of our community be an example of the power of love, light and life in the face of darkness and death.
Here is a compilation of scenes of the October 25, 1968, rescue and removal operation on Moose Mountain in Hanover after the crash of Northeast Airlines Flight 946. The original 24 minutes of footage was provided to former Valley News sports editor Donald Mahler when he wrote a series of stories marking the 40th anniversary of the disaster.
That’s according to a news release from Dartmouth College officials, who say that Morphy the 15-year-old corpse flower is expected to bloom for a three-day period sometime next week (that would be the week of Oct. 28).
Of course, nobody knows the exact dates … except for Morphy! Whenever it happens, the greenhouse will post extended hours.
Morphy last bloomed two years ago, topping out at 7 feet, 6 inches and drawing 5,000 visitors. And although corpse flowers typically bloom only every seven or eight years, it seems that Morphy is bucking expectations and ready to party.
Why is Morphy blooming again so soon?
Kim DeLong, Dartmouth’s greenhouse manager, said this in an email:
It’s somewhat rare for a corpse flower to bloom so soon. But as a corpse flower corm matures, it’s more likely that it’ll bloom sooner in the life cycle. Uncertain on why. But when we repotted the corm in June, it was between 80-90 pounds, so both Terry (Barry), our greenhouse assistant, and I thought it might bloom again. All that energy in the corm needs to be expended on a flower.
Here’s what it looked like when Morphy started to bloom in September 2016, thanks to Valley News photographer James M. Patterson.
Sue Mescher, of Danville, Vt., looks up at the over seven-foot-tall Morphy, an Amorphophallus Titanum plant, which is in the process of blooming in the Dartmouth College Life Sciences Greenhouse Thursday, September 22, 2016. The flower is currently growing up to four inches a day and stands over seven feet tall. Mescher was passing through on the way to New York City and did not want to miss the opportunity to stop and see the flower. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And here’s a photo of Morphy in full bloom, alongside Terry Barry, of the Dartmouth Life Sciences Greenhouse staff, later that month:
Terry Barry, Life Sciences Greenhouse staff, checks the plant temperature and answers questions in September 2016. (Robert Gill/Dartmouth College)
Plus, a close-up of the tiny flowers inside Morphy at that time:
Female flowers on bottom. Male on top, not yet pollinating. (Robert Gill/Dartmouth College)
Last but not least, here’s a time lapse video showing the whole bloom in September 2016, courtesy of Dartmouth College:
What all these visuals can’t do for you, though, is get across a sense of smell — which is one of Morphy’s main attractions, although the smell is not great.
In a world of packaged, homogenized, digitalized, photo-shopped, prettified, Snapchatted and Instagrammed experiences, a corpse flower in full blossom, or stench, is as unmediated and rare an experience as you can get.
Which is probably why hundreds of visitors a day are flocking to the Life Sciences Greenhouse at Dartmouth College to stare at Morphy the corpse flower, which began to bloom Friday afternoon. When it is fully open, it releases a scent that has been likened to rotting meat, decomposing flesh, urine and excrement — take your pick.
But, does the corpse flower smell like its name?
Worse, actually, said Kim DeLong, the greenhouse manager and curator. Before DeLong took the job at Dartmouth, she worked as a greenhouse manager at the University of California, Berkeley. As part of her studies, DeLong has been around cadavers; so she knows the difference between the smell of real corpses, and botanical imitators.
At a little more than 7 feet tall, Morphy is a prime, 13-year-old specimen of Titan arum or Amorphophallus titanum, which, said DeLong, translates roughly as “giant misshapen penis.”
So, there’s that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
DeLong, the greenhouse manager, also said:
I really hope that people who missed Morphy’s bloom two years ago will get to see it this time. When Morphy bloomed in 2016, I was surprised by how much the odor shifted. At first, it smelled like a dead rat in your wall and then towards morning, it smelled more like dirty baby diapers. Given that the female flowers become fertile first, my guess is that the smell shifts as the male flowers become fertile, all of which may help attract different pollinators.
Good luck Morphy! Hope to see you blooming around Halloween. In the meantime, here’s other ways to check in: