Once upon a time, this blog had posts that weren’t about Apple and automation. In those halcyon pre-Twitter days, I would actually write full blog posts about things I’d seen and done instead of tossing out a tweet or two and calling it a day.

This past Saturday, my wife and I visited the Garfield Park Conservatory on the West Side of Chicago. We’ve gone there many times before, but always in the winter as a way of seeing some greenery and color during the gray months. This time, in addition to the usual wandering through the various houses, we had a particular plant we wanted to see.

The conservatory’s Century Plant, which has been on display for over 50 years, started to shoot up a stalk in January, not too long after our last visit. This is the beginning of the end for the Century; when its stalk stops growing, it will flower for a few months and then die.

The bottom of the plant looks pretty much like it did last year.

Bottom of Century Plant

The difference is the 6″ to 8″ thick stalk growing up out of the center of the plant. If you zoom in on the photo, you can see the rope that the conservatory staff has hung from the roof of the greenhouse to track the growth of the stalk. They couldn’t ask the plant to stand up against a door jamb.

The red JAN 1 and JAN 15 labels show about a foot of growth over those two weeks. How tall is it now? This was my best attempt to show the whole stalk with the labels turned toward me.

Stalk of Century Plant

Unfortunately, this missed the tip, which I had to get from a different angle.

Tip of Century Plant

When the stalk got over 25′ high, the conservatory staff had to remove one of the glass panels in the roof to let it out. You can see also that it’s outgrown the rope they were using to track its growth. The conservatory posted a funnier photo of the tip on its Instagram feed.

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#AgaveWatchGPC update. As of yesterday she is 14 inches through the roof!

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It looks like it’s poking its head out to take a look at the fieldhouse dome.