Sunday, October 25, 2009
Just another boring day then...
One night a year, in the Bahamas, the Selenicereus cactus flowers ache into bloom, conduct their entire sex lives, and vanish by morning. For several days beforehand, the cactuses develop large pregnant pods. Then one night, awakened by a powerful smell of vanilla, you know what has happened. The entire moonlit yard is erupting in huge, foot-wide flowers. Hundreds of sphinx moths rush from one flower to another. The air is full of the baying of dogs, the loud fluttering of the moths that sounds like someone riffling through a large book, and the sense-drenching vanilla nectar of the flowers, which disappear at dawn, leaving the cactuses sated for another year.
(From A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman, page 55)
This work by Sarah Salway is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.