The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is the most visited Natural History Museum in the world. With over 1.5 million square feet of space and 126 million specimens it is the authoritative view on natural history.
The Hall of Mammals has an extensive collection.
A map of the world has the population ‘clock’ that constantly updates.
The Hall of Human Origins has a collection of sculptures of humans over time.
The Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals has a number of impressive pieces.
Finally we toured the Ocean Hall.
Each year for 111 years the small Ohio town of Circleville has had a Pumpkin Show in October, where people from all over the region bring their giant pumpkins to be crowned king/queen of the show.
While there is much that is pumpkin themed in reality it is about 1000 fried food stands with 20,000 fried food people jammed along the streets. But still how can you not appreciate pumpkin art as a hamburger and fries.
Combining the two big events, the eclipse and pumpkins.
The winner, 1701 pounds of pumpkin.
And when you have spent all your cash on fried things, you get in the long line for the ATM for more money under the watchful eye of a giant blow up pumpkin.
The trip continued north into Far Southeastern British Columbia, where we found the town of Sparwood, which was a mining town. It is now home of the ‘World’s Largest Truck’!
We continued on into Alberta and visited the site of Frank, Alberta. In 1903 the mountain gave way, burying much of the small town in rocks and mud. Today an interpretive center reminds all how mighty nature can be.
The road to Calgary took us back into the Prairies, but ran along side the Front Range of Alberta.
Farms were numerous until we reached Calgary.
Champaign County, Ohio is the home to Cedar Bog, a nature preserve created by the receding glaciers and the ground water from the Mad River. As a result there is a great deal of vegetation that is not common in Ohio. The result is a beautiful, but bug filled, boardwalk through the bog.
Buried way back a small one lane road in the Hocking Hills is Lilyfest. It is a celebration of one couple’s gardens, adorned with art. What started as a small gathering now has over 70 vendors with artistic wares, two stages for music, as well as the gardens, now known as the Bishop Education Gardens.
Most of the vendors were happy to allow photography of their art. One of the first we visited makes all natural doll, with a clay face, moss, grasses and other natural products make up the rest.
Not really sure, but it is cool
The gardens were in bloom providing a bucolic setting, despite the throng of people and vendors.
Art from old instruments.
Air feed plants from South America
There was a large collection of iron art.
How they managed to jam all of the cars parked on every available open space of the hills and trees is amazing. Fortunately we were there early enough that we had a good place to park, and enjoyed festival before it was too crowded.
The National Aviary is located on the north side of Pittsburgh. It is the largest aviary in the country, as well as being non profit, so the U.S. government honored it by naming it the ‘National Aviary’.
There are more than 150 different types of birds in the aviary, all living in a nice environment for being captive.
Most people go to the library to find a book, a CD, or even a DVD. We went to the Celina, Ohio Mercer County Library to find minerals. We were not disappointed.
Ron and Ruth Langsdon collected minerals from all over the world through dealers for many years. The librarians told the story that Langsdon’s wanted to donate their collection to the library or schools in their nearby hometown of St Marys, but nobody wanted them. Celina did – and built special cabinets for them. They have 21 cabinets full of them, and now other branches of the county library are adding their own portion of the collection
I am not a geologist, but the minerals displayed in the mirrored cases, with direct lighting was tough to photograph, but look great when you get it right.