First, let me start at the beginning, and don’t worry it won’t take long. I moved to the country a few years ago. It’s lovely with wide-open spaces, room to breathe, tons of trees, and wildlife. Many times when I wake up in the morning I think that I’m at a vacation house instead of my own home. Also, I can jump in my car and drive ten to fifteen minutes and I’m on the beach. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s a perfect place for a writer to work.
My academic and consulting background is in forensics and criminology. Basically, I study crime and criminals. I love to blog about all kinds of things pertaining to these fields. I don’t know about you, but I seem to gravitate toward any new information about thrillers, crime, criminals, and serial killers. I hope you are enjoying my blog.
I would like to think of myself as being aware of what’s going on around me. I pay attention to who is near me either at home or out in the community. I’m a detail oriented person who has a lot of curiosity thrown in for good measure. So you can imagine my surprise when I was taking a break from writing one afternoon from writing and I smelled… well… something dead. There was absolutely NO mistaking that smell. Unlike what was reported from murder trials – you know the smell of death. You might think since I live out in the country it’s most likely a dead animal, like a pack rat, squirrel, or even (heaven forbid) a neighbor’s cat.
Or should I say dead wrong.
I smelled this dreadful “odor” for a couple of days. I looked around in my flowerbeds and around some potted plants, to no avail. I decided to ask my husband if he’d smelled the “dead” smell. Maybe he had some insight?
“Honey”, I said. “It smells like something’s dead in the front yard.”
He agreed with me. “I smelled it too. You mean you haven’t found it yet?” He said with a cynical smile, knowing how much it irked me not being able to find its source.
I told him that I was going to hunt it down no matter what. The temperature was rising and it was going to soon ratchet up to all time stinkfest.
I began at my front door and used my nose. I wasn’t going to quit until I found the source of the smell. I felt like I was Emily Stone in one of my novels hunting down a serial killer.
I was on a mission.
The stink kept getting stronger and stronger. I knew I was close… So I followed my nose so to speak…
The smell was the strongest at a particular area. I searched, but there was nothing there.
It was very curious indeed.
I just had to know where that horrific smell was coming from. Now it was personal. I was going to stay outside until I found the little decomposing critter.
Then it hit me…
I turned and looked under a large bottlebrush bush and there it was! It was… one of the most striking and amazing looking lily I had ever seen. The plant was three feet tall with a deep magenta bloom, which was at least twelve inches long.
I remembered something a gardening neighbor told me about this plant. It actually SMELLS just like ROTTING FLESH! Yes, you read correctly – rotting and decomposing flesh. I cannot imagine anyone planting this plant in their garden or even near their house. It is called appropriately by many street names: stink lily, voodoo lily, cadaver lily, dragon lily and so on. Its official name is Dracunculus vulgaris. The photo posted above is the actual culprit or victim in my garden.
I finally found the cadaver in my garden.
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