Blog Archives

Roaming to the National Museum of Natural History

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

I am spoiled rotten to live so close to the Smithsonian Institution. If you’re not familiar, the Smithsonian is a group of museums, galleries, and a zoo that are located in Washington DC. I will admit with great shame that I have only visited a couple of the many locations, but the trouble is they’re so amazing that I end up returning to the same one(s) over and over.

I recently took my niece to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), since at the end of April the Fossil Hall dinosaur exhibit will be closing for renovations – FOR FIVE YEARS. As any good auntie should be, I was panicked and made sure, come hell or more winter weather, that I’d get her there.

Now of course, being a standard 4 year old, she was only mildly interested in the bones, particularly after  overhearing someone say the phrase, “dinosaur gummies,” in reference to candy available at the gift shop. These were essentially the only dinosaurs she was thereafter interested in, but I persevered.

IMG_2794

“RAAAR” is dinosaur for “I love you.”

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Roaming to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

Longwood Gardens is a botanical garden in Pennsylvania, USA, that consists of more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. It started as a working farm purchased by William Penn in 1700, and evolved over the next two hundred years into one of the earliest and most extensive arboretums in the US. It was nearly sold for lumber but was purchased by Pierre du Pont 1906, who was determined not only to save the property, but to improve upon it for future generations to enjoy.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

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An inordinate fear of lake monsters.

Recently I took a little jaunt to Lucky Lake in the Cascade mountains. The hike was a blood-pumping one mile, the lake was shallow (which means the water was refreshingly cool rather than omg-I-think-I’m-dying freezing like most of the lakes up here), and it was deserted. My hiking buddy and I got to swim, the dog ran around until he was exhausted, and I revealed to yet another human being my absurdly irrational fear of lake monsters. Read the rest of this entry

Roaming in the Painted Hills, Oregon

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

I love to roam.

I recently made the trip out to a spectacular spot in Oregon’s “high desert” region called the Painted Hills. The Painted Hills are one of three spots in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, which includes the Sheep Rock Unit loaded with fossils and an AWESOME fossil museum, complete with a glass wall where you can watch paleontologists chipping away at the remains of some million-year-old-something. *drool*

The Painted Hills were an ancient floodplain home to small, ancestral horse species and other early mammals. Erosion has wiped away the more recent layers of soil to reveal this amalgam of clay and minerals, which, true to its name, looks like it was painted with a big red brush.

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