United States

Dinosaurs at National Museum of Natural History

See Article from Smithsonian describing the new exhibit.


  • The new hall, The David H. Koch Hall of Fossils—Deep Time,  was created from a $35 million gift from David H. Koch.
  • The new hall brings back the nation’s T. rex, now the centerpiece of a new 31,000-square-foot fossil hall.
  • The exhibition is a journey through more than 3.7 billion years of life on Earth.
  • Fossils are positioned in “dramatic, new and more scientifically accurate poses”.

Olana State Historic Site

Olana State Historic Site in Greenport, New York, was the estate home of Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900), one of the major figures in the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Olana’s villa overlooks parkland and a working farm designed by the artist, with a wide view of the Hudson River Valley, the Catskill Mountains, and the Taconic Range. The estate takes its name from a fortress-treasure house in ancient Greater Persia (modern-day Armenia), which also overlooked a river valley.

The home is a mixture of Victorian, Persian, and Moorish styles. Frederic and Isabel Church were impressed by the architecture they had seen on their travels in Beirut, Jerusalem, and Damascus in 1868. Upon their return to their farm, they abandoned preliminary plans for a manor house in the French style and instead instead created a more personal vision influenced by their travels.

Thomas Cole NHS

The Thomas Cole House (Cedar Grove) is now a National Historic Landmark. It includes the home and the studio of painter Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of American painting. Cole lived in the home and used the studios from 1833 through his death in 1848. The Old Studio served as Thomas Cole’s primary studio between 1839 and 1846.

Cole’s student Frederic Edwin Church became a close friend of the family and sketched much of Cedar Grove in 1848. Church’s Olana estate is across the river.

Thomas Edison NHP

Thomas Edison National Historical Park contains Thomas Edison‘s laboratory and Glenmont residence (which was closed when we visited).  The park is in West Orange, New Jersey. You’ll be amazed by all inventions that originated out of these laboratories (e.g., motion picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies, and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery.

The laboratory was designated as Edison Laboratory National Monument on July 14, 1956.


DC Tidal Basin at Dawn

Each year it is a tradition for me to go down to the Title Basin and take pictures of the cherry blossoms.

This year I decided that I didn’t want to push and shove to get a few pictures! So it meant that I had to see the blossoms before they were fully in bloom. If I waited a couple days longer, the place would have been mobbed and my pictures wouldn’t have looked as nice.