Sunday, September 2, 2012

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Sometimes my job takes me to some very fun places! At the end of July I met with a group who works at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in DC and uses our software. They asked if I'd provide them with a refresher training for their study, and I was happy to oblige as they in turn gave me an "official" visitor pass to the museum for the rest of the day. Not only did this mean I didn't have to deal with security on the way in, but I also got the employee discount on the IMAX movie that evening, was able to walk around and explore the museum kid-free, and didn't have to pay admission to the Butterfly Pavilion! Definitely worth it.

I had been wanting to take a walk through the Butterfly Pavilion on our last couple of trips there, but Evan isn't much for interacting with live animals and we would've all had to pay. It was definitely worth it! You walk through an air-lock to come in and out (to ensure there are no "riders" who come out with you!), and once inside you're just surrounded by butterflies everywhere! I took so many are my favorites.

 These guys were HUGE! Each one took up about half of the pineapple that they were on; easily larger than my hand. They loved the fruit, but when one did finally take off I saw that the tops (insides) of their wings were a beautiful brilliant blue, but unfortunately I couldn't get a good photo of one in flight.

 Since I didn't have the kids with me, I wandered through the hall of gems for a while. First up was the Hope Diamond (at which I had to listen to a tourist ask his family if it was the same diamond as the one from the movie Titanic, ugh).
And then I took some photos of the opal display, as it is my birthstone and comes in so many beautiful forms!
 I also learned on this trip that the elephant in the central rotunda is named Henry, so of course I had to take many photos of him! This one was my favorite.
 And finally, for the kids, I took a few more photos of the dinosaurs.