Skookum Smithsonian

I forget how BIG the Washington, DC Mall is. On my last day visiting out east over the winter holidays, my friend B and I went to the Mall. Above is the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (DINOSAURS!), then the National Gallery of Art and then the Capitol Building. We went to the National Gallery first because they opened late at 11 am, while the Smithsonian was opening some buildings at 1 pm.

Looking the other way, the Washington Monument, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Museum of American History.

The museum buildings are each two city blocks long and a city block wide. They are enormous. We only went through part of the National Gallery and then ducked in to Natural History. There are now 23 buildings, including the National Zoo, in the Smithsonian. It is amazing and wonderful. And there are other museums as well, including the National Gallery of Art.

The Smithsonian:

The National Gallery of Art:

cast of a triceratops skull

They are SKOOKUM museums.

freezing level

Yesterday a trip to Forks is in order. There is snow around Lake Crescent and you can see the freezing level part way up the mountain. It is beautiful as we rise into the pass between the Elwha Valley and the Sol Duc Valley. In the Sol Duc Valley there is less snow at road level, but it’s still in the mountains. A gorgeous day.

In the Sol Duc Valley.

winter bird

Our snow is gone, but I heard on bird note how the Anna’s hummingbirds survive. One morning the temperature here was 14 degrees F, and then the hummingbird was out as soon as it was light. Dive bombing me as I brought out the feeder after thawing it. Bird note says that they can slow their metabolism, like a mini hibernation, during the freezing temperatures. This helps them expand their range and get a jump on the humming birds that go south.