Monday, February 28, 2011

Experen* (for Experien*)

Who doesn't love a good pear? Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas ... well, perhaps not bees or fleas, in this case, as much as flies. The Bradford Pear is one type of tree whose blossoms attract flies in order to reproduce; regrettably, they do this by emitting an odor redolent of (take your pick from a recent Google search): "wet dog," "rotting fish," "dead meat," "dirty socks," "whorehouse floor," "garbage," or "poop." Whew! And, as if all that weren't sufficient to discourage the planting of this very pretty ornamental tree, it also has a relatively short life span, does not yield much edible fruit, and has a "weak crotch" (which makes it especially susceptible to storm damage). Many owners, landscapers, and hapless passersby regard the olfactory experience attendant upon the Bradford pear to be tolerable only as a vicarious one. Experen* appears a dozen times in OhioLINK and more than 400 times in WorldCat. Expel this stinker from your library's catalog—then reward yourself with a nice, sweet, juicy (non-Bradford) pear!

(Drawing of pears, or peren, from the Hoofdmenu website.)

Carol Reid

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