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Michael's trip to the Mall

In April, I was in the Washington, D.C. area, [actually Dulles] attending a MidAtlantic Xplor meeting. I just could not pass up the opportunity to swing by the Mall for a few hours after the meeting, to see how things have changed.

Despite the rain and drizzle on Friday afternoon, it was still a pleasant drive into downtown Washington amid the colorful flowering trees and plants.

Many years ago, I used to work in Washington and spent many a lunch hour enjoying the various sights, sounds, and general atmosphere of the Mall. There have been some changes, but it is still a great place to spend a few hours.

note: Each of the photographs is a thumbnail image of the original. Just click on the thumbnail to view a larger version of the picture.

parking near the museumAs with any large city, parking is always an issue. Fortunately I had a good idea exactly where I wanted to go, and as you can see, I found a pretty good [free] parking spot! [It pays to call ahead!]


American Indian Museum


The museum entrance lead into a large kiva.

museum entrance

The Smithsonian does a great job with their web sites. This one for the National Museum of the American Indian is not exception.

The saga of many, many broken treaties and agreements. A celebration of cultural diversity. Reverence for our natural resources and a desire to protect them for future generations.
look up at the kiva dome

Looking up at the kiva dome.

main staircase 

The far side of the kiva wall contains the main staircase for accessing the other floors. boat under construction on kiva floorThe way the staircase in 'notched' into the wall reminded me of cliff dwellings I have seen.

The floor of the kiva contained two demonstration boat building projects. This one demonstrated the skillful joining of wood pieces to construct the hull.



Indian art demonstrates their close relationship with nature. This 'land' scapes use wood of various shapes to depict the landscape of cultivated fields.

land scapes
land scapes detail wooden cube

Museum views

  computers in resource room

The museum features a very nice resource room with a bank of computer looking out over the mall. The resource room also includes a small library which is also open to visitors.

looking out museum front to the capitol

View toward the Capitol.

  corner waterfall looking east corner waterfall looking west

Museum exterior

north side of museum looking south
 museum east face museum east face detail
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Botanic Garden

The U. S. Botanic Garden consists of a conservatory and garden. The conservatory is open to the public and has both permanent and rotating exhibits. A great place to commune with nature!


Flowers in the garden.

flower detail
  Orchids orchid #1 orchid #2
  star of persia bloom star of persia detail Star of Persia

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Educational exhibit

  study aid #1 giant plant detail

Giant plants complete with blinking lights that coordinate with a display of the various plant parts and functions.

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Mall scenes

  high school troupe

High school troupe performing 'song and dance' in front of the Capitol.

Trained wisteria bloom on wall of the National Gallery.

wisteria on national gallery wall
big brother watching out for you

'Big Brother' watching out for pedestrians -- telling them how many seconds are left to cross the street.


The entrances to this HEW building are decorated as little red school houses. I'm glad someone in Washington has a sense of humor!

hew school house entrance
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Administrivia: doc ID: revised: 5/26/2005
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