Thursday, November 17, 2016

Daytrip to DC and Smithsonian

The trains have been under construction for a while, and they will again in December, so we went into DC on Tuesday. That is the White House and the area in front of it is all blocked off as they are building the inauguration platforms and stages. 

This is across the street in front of the White House; looks like some seating platforms being built.

This is directly in front of the house. It is pretty exciting to see them getting ready for such a big event. I had no idea they started building this far ahead of January. 

After meeting up with Keith for lunch near his work, we walked over to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. They had a bug table set up with friendly insects to touch/hold. 

Madagascar hissing cockroach!

They have a new thing now: a butterfly habitat. You can get tickets (Tuesdays are free) and go inside and butterflies are flying everywhere and sometimes land on you. 

First time I have had a butterfly land on me: one on my shoulder and one on my hair. 

They had quite a few Blue Morpho butterflies in there. 

One landed on Tucker. 

They had trays of fruit sitting out for the butterflies to 'eat' from. It was such neat experience. They had to keep the room warm, so it was very humid from the moisture being pumped into the room. 

Displays in the insect section. You can see which bugs are in your house and where.

I was afraid at first, but decided to just do it! Once the grasshopper was on my hand, I really liked holding it. It was super lightweight and moved very slowly and didn't jump. Once you hold one, your fears go away. 

Downstairs they had many cases of stuffed birds. We see these bluejays in our yard all the time. 

Case of woodpeckers. Woodpeckers are a lot of times hard to spot and are very skittish, so it was nice to see this display and be able to look closely at these birds we know are out there, but don't get to see much. 

Pileated Woodpeckers, which are around our house in the spring, are really hard to spot. 

This is a discovery room for kids. It has lots of hands-on stuff, puzzles, games, animal parts, skeletons, dress up stuff, etc.