This Morning’s Sunrise

Posted: February 9, 2018 in Events
Tags: , ,
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This Morning’s Sunrise

This morning, as the Congress and Senate were still inside the U.S. Capitol Building trying to reach an agreement to pass a continuing resolution which would reopen the Federal government and end the second government shutdown of the year, the rest of us on the outside were treated to a sunrise that was so beautiful that it made you temporarily forget about the political ugliness going on inside the building.

As the sun rose and the blackness of night seemed to change the entire sky to a deep red and then a pronounced pink, I decided to stop on the way to work and take some time to watch the spectacular show.  I can’t recall ever seeing such a red sky, and it reminded me of the saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.”  But with what was going on inside the Capitol, I think the politicians, more than sailors, should take warning.

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The 45th Annual March for Life

This week has been an interesting one. The workweek began with a day off to commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal holiday. Severe winter weather moved into the area during the week as well. With temperatures near 70 degrees during the preceding weekend, a weather front moved in that had the temperatures drop down into single digits. The weather front also brought snow with it, which caused areas schools to close on more than one day. Now at the end of a week in which Federal workers like myself are waiting to see if the lack of a budget will result in the government shutting down at the end of the day today, the temperature has risen back up to almost 50 degrees just in time for my lunchtime bike ride to this year’s March for Life.

The March for Life is an annual event which began as a small demonstration on the first anniversary of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 1973 in cases known as Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton, which were landmark decisions on the issue of abortion. Over the years the March for Life has grown to include numerous other cities in the United States and throughout the world. The March in D.C., however, has become and remains the largest pro-life event in the world.

I have attended the March for Life each year for many years, as I did again today for the 45th annual march. This year’s events included a musical opening before the rally program began, which took place at noon on the National Mall at 12th Street, in between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive. During the program there were a number of featured speakers, including President Donald Trump (via video satellite), Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Pam Tebow, the mother of former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow. Directly after the program there was a march up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building and the Capitol Building took place. After finishing marching there was then a time for “Silent No More” testimonies outside U.S. Supreme Court, as well as chances for some to meet with their Representative or Senator to advocate for life.

According to the latest statistics available on abortions worldwide, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), every year there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.  Approximately 926,200 of these abortions were performed in the United States, which equates to approximately nineteen percent of all pregnancies in this country (excluding miscarriages) ending in abortion. Other available information from the WHO on abortion in the United States shows that nearly half (45%) of all pregnancies among U.S. women were unintended, and about four in 10 of these were terminated by abortion. This made the abortion rate 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged (15–44).  Among these women, 1.5% have had an abortion, with just under half of these women (45%) reported having a previous abortion.  Those who have abortions come primarily from the poorest among us (75 percent), women of color (61 percent), women pursuing post-secondary degrees that would lift them out of poverty (66 percent), and mothers who already have dependents (59 percent).  Overall, based on all available statistics, one in 20 women (5%) will have an abortion by age 20, about one in five (19%) by age 30 and about one in four (24%) by age 45.

The March for Life may not put an end to the tragedy of abortion, but it’s a good step (or steps).

 

[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

More information about the annual March for Life can be found on one of my previous blog posts.

#WhyWeMarch  #MarchForLife  #MarchForLife2018

Chief Petty Officers’ Centennial Time Capsule

On a recent lunchtime bike ride I found myself at the United States Navy Memorial, located on Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, between 7th and 9th Streets in Downtown D.C. I have been to this memorial a number of times, but this was the first time I noticed a small brass plaque located on one of the masts that encircles the memorial.  So, naturally, I had to check it out and find out more about it.

It turned out that the plaque marks the spot where a time capsule was placed in the base of the mast nearest to the entrance to the Navy Memorial Heritage Center.  Created by and dedicated to the Navy’s chief petty officers (CPOs), the time capsule was placed there on October 13, 1993, the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Navy’s establishment of the CPO position.

The time capsule is scheduled to be opened on the bicentennial anniversary of the establishment of the CPO position, on October 19, 2093.   And I look forward to being there to see it opened.

The inscription on the plaque reads,

“The rank of chief petty officer – the senior position among naval enlisted ranks – was established by the Navy Department in 1893. A time capsule was placed within this foundation on 13 October 1993 to be opened in the chiefs’ bicentennial year 2093.

The chief petty officers serving in the 1993 centennial year are honored to pass on these items representative of our first 100 years of service to our country and navy to the chiefs serving in the 2003 bicentennial year. As we look to the future, we place our faith and trust in you to carry out the traditions of leadership, pride, and professionalism, and continue “Set the tone.”

Our salute affirms our trust in you – the future chief petty officers of the United States Navy.”

It just goes to show you that you should keep your eyes open and be aware of what is around you when you are in D.C.  because you never know what you’re going to see.

      
[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

Best of the Rest – Part 5

Posted: December 29, 2017 in Miscellaneous, Photos

The Colonnade at The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America

Today’s blog post is the fifth and last part of a series of my favorite miscellaneous photos from 2017 that have not been previously posted here on this blog.  Part 1Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the series were previously posted.

 

[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

1 – A street vendor selling a purse featuring Barack and Michelle Obama.
2 – Various mushrooms for sale at the Vermont Avenue Farmers Market
3 – A pedicab parked off the beaten path for tourists on P Street in the Logan Circle neighborhood
4 – Savory Greek pastries for sale at the farmers market at the Reagan Building
5 – A purple flower on an cast iron fence on 14th Street in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in northwest D.C.
6 – A mural on the side of a grocery store features the store’s owner
7 – One of many signs of patriotism for Independence Day, this one in Georgetown
8 – The simplistic and elegant architectural lines of the colonnade at Federal Triangle
9 – Evergreens, although singular in color, rival the colorful flowers at the Botanic Garden for their beauty
10 – Autumn showing off it’s colors on Swann Street in the DuPont Circle neighborhood
11 – A complimentary smart car for use by guests at Attache Corporate Housing in Foggy Bottom
12 – A summer concert in the park as part of Farragut Fridays in Farragut Square Park
13 – A Metropolitan Police Department car parked in a bike lane as an officer inside eats her lunch
14 – A freshly-fallen colorful autumn leaf I watched fall in the yard of a residence on Capitol Hill
15 – Secret Service officers requiring a man to take down the encampment he built in Lafayette Square Park
16 – Marchers from Charlottesville vowed to occupy Farragut Square Park for six months but lasted only a few days
17 – One of the many summer concerts, this one in Franklin Square
18 – Stained glass windows at the church of presidents, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square
19 – A view from the north shore of the Potomac River looking toward Arlington
20 – An inflatable Hoya bulldog mascot in Red Square on the campus of Georgetown University
21 – Musicians in a tent performing in a temporary “Moroccan City” set up on the National Mall
22 – A woman wearing a pie hat at the annual handing out of free pie at McPherson Square
23 – Colorful balloons seemed to detract from this protest’s message
24 – My recumbent bike named Julius at the fountain at the
25 – An elderly homeless man with only one shoe but his own Bible at Street Church in Franklin Square
26 – The counter at another one of my favorite lunch spots, MGM Roast Beef in Brentwood
27 – Heirloom tomatoes at the USDA Outdoor Farmers Market
28 – Looking through the front window and watching the pizzas being prepared at We, The Pizza
29 – A window washer repelling down the side of The W Hotel  on 15th Street
30 – A bike designed more for the comfort of the passenger than the rider
31 – Colorful statues in front of pet bakery and grooming shop
32 – A giant chicken statue in the front yard of a house on R Street in northwest D.C.
33 – A seemingly distraught man near the fountain in DuPont Circle Park
34 – A topiary dog marking it’s territory at a residence on R Street in northwest D.C.
35 – Holiday vendors selling handmade items at Eastern Market just before Christmas
36 – A street artist’s wares on display on a sidewalk on Capitol Hill
37 – I thought all Holly berries were red, but now I’ve learned that they are not
38 – A window in City Center decorated for the holidays
39 – One of the grill masters of the Georgetown University Grilling Society
40 – A dinosaur hiding in the Hawaii room at the United States Botanic Garden
41 – The Tune Inn, my favorite “dive” on Capitol Hill and home of the Joe’s West Virginia sandwich
42 – The entrance to David’s Tent, where a non-stop worship service has been happening since September 11, 2015

D.C. Decorated for the Holidays

Posted: December 25, 2017 in Photos

The following photo slideshow is of holiday decorations I saw throughout the city during my daily lunchtime bike rides in December.  From the National Christmas tree in front of the White House and the Capitol Christmas tree in front of the U.S. Capitol Building, to the doorways and store windows, the national capital city had an abundance of decorations.  Some were typical, like the wreathes and Christmas trees.  Others were unusual, like the building wrapped in a bow, and the glass Christmas ornament with a live venus flytrap growing in it.  But whether big or small, I enjoyed seeing all of them. And I hope you enjoy these photos too.  Happy holidays.

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Best of the Rest – Part 4

Posted: December 22, 2017 in Photos

As Jeff Goldbloom’s character said in Jurassic Park, “Life finds a way.”

Today’s blog post is fourth part of a five-part series of my favorite miscellaneous photos from the past year that have not been previously posted here on this blog.  Part 1Part 2 and Part 3 of the series were previously posted.  And please come back next Friday for the last part of my year-end collection of miscellaneous photos from 2017.

 

[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

1 – Streetcar tracks and cobblestones reminiscent of an earlier time on O Street in Georgetown
2 – Students relaxing on a fall day in Red Square at Georgetown University
3 – A shark outside of the National Geographic Headquarters building for Shark Week
4 – The magnificent pipe organ at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
5 – A dilapidated home in the University Heights neighborhood in northeast D.C.
6 – A homeless man sleeping on one of the benches surrounding the fountain in DuPont Circle
7 – A flower garden and statue of St. Francis in the courtyard at The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America
8 – A sign advertising classes in graffiti art in front of the on 8th Street in Brentwood
9 – Some ladybug-like bugs in The Mary Livingston Ripley Garden 
10 – An apartment building under construction on Pennsylvania Avenue on Capitol Hill
11 – A view from 4th Street of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
12 – A musician performing at the Downtown Holiday Market near the National Portrait Gallery
13 – A bulldog tied up at a bicycle rack outside a bookstore on Connecticut Avenue
14 – Pigeons perched next to a green algae-filled fountain at the United States Navy Memorial
15 – The front window of Kramerbooks and Afterworks on Connecticut Avenue
16 – A building reflected off another building in Downtown D.C.
17 – An ethnic dancing display in front of Healy Hall at Georgetown University
18 – An autumn game of tic-tac-to at the farmers market at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
19 – The Lost and Found bar and music venue on 9th Street in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood
20 – A local news crew interviewing one of the daily protestors at the White House
21 – A giant spider envelops a house in Georgetown in its web
22 – Various vegetables for sale at the farmers market in City Center
23 – People petting baby goats and other animals at a temporary petting zoo on the National Mall
24 – A construction site on 9th Street in Downtown D.C.
25 – Succulents in a pot on the stone fence of a residence
26 – A colorful protest in Lafayette Square Park
27 – The corner of this building in Blagden Ally caught my eye
28 –  Someone was having a worse day than I was the day I took this photo
29 – A large old tree provided some shade at a Friday cookout with the Georgetown University Grilling Society (GUGS)
30 – This street preacher had an almost unending crowd passing by in front of Union Station
31 – A blow-up Easter Bunny advertising display, in September
32 – Colorful peppers at the Vermont Avenue Farmers Market
33 – Construction on New York Avenue just north of Chinatown
34 – The iconic gold-domed corner of the Suntrust Bank building at the corner of 15th Street and New York Avenue
35 – Some decorative multi-colored cabbage in a garden in Mount Pleasant
36 – A colorful door and trim on a brownstone in the West End neighborhood
37 – The weekday famers market at City Center in Downtown
38 – An appetizing window display at Tadich’s Take Out
39 – Art can pop up almost anywhere in D.C., such as this storm drain in Adams Morgan
40 – The corner window of Soul Cycle on M Street in Georgetown
41 – Patriotically attired tourist waiting to get in to see The Petersen House where President Lincoln died
42 – One of the embassies in D.C. – Christ Embassy, on 18th Street in Brookland

Season’s Greenings: Railroads and Roadside Attractions

On this lunchtime bike ride I was fortunate to see some of the most unique and beautiful holiday decorations here in the D.C. area.   I returned to the United States Botanic Garden to see more of their decorations, including their main holiday exhibit entitled “Season’s Greenings: Railroads and Roadside Attractions.”

Each year the Botanic Garden decorates for the holidays with a different themed showcase.  Last year’s theme was national parks.  This year’s holiday showcase is built around a theme of “Roadside Attractions.”  It includes a model train show, with various trains chugging around, below, through, and above recreations of iconic sights from across the United States.  Like the recreations of D.C. Landmarks , all of the features in the Roadside Attractions showcase are made out of a variety of plants.

You can explore classic attractions like Texas’ Cadillac Ranch, Colorado’s hot-dog-shaped Coney Island Hot Dog Stand, South Dakota’s Corn Palace, New Jersey’s Lucy the Elephant, and many more.

During a visit to the Botanic Garden you can also view thousands of blooms throughout the Conservatory, including a seasonal showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties.  And the orchid room, which is incredible throughout the year, is particularly beautiful at this time of year.  So if you can, go there before the holiday decorations are taken down at the beginning of the year.

 

[Click on the photos above to view the full size versions]

List of roadside attractions and the state(s) in which they are located.

1 – Boll Weevil Monument (Alabama)
2 – Cadillac Ranch (Texas)
3 – Coffee Pot and Cup Water Towers (Iowa)
4 – Coney Island Hot Dog Stand (Colorado)
5 – Corn Palace (South Dakota)
6 – Dinosaur Park Dinosaurs (South Dakota)
7 – Ear of Corn Water Tower (Minnesota)
8 – Elwood, The World’s Tallest Concrete Gnome (Iowa)
9 – Golden Driller Statue (Oklahoma)
10 – Hollywood Sign (California)
11 –  Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue (Georgia)
12 – Jolly Green Giant Statue (Minnesota)
13 – Leaning Tower of Niles (Illinois)
14 – Lucy the Elephant (New Jersey)
15 – Mr. Potato Head Statue (Rhode Island)
16 – Mt. Rushmore (South Dakota)
17 – Niagara Falls and Maid of the Mist Boat (New York)
18 – Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox (Minnesota)
19 – Peachoid Water Tower  South Carolina, Alabama)
20 – Pineapple Water Tower (Hawaii)
21 – Randy’s Donuts (California)
22 – Route 66 Diner (New Mexico)
23 – Santa Monica Pier (California)
24 – Sapp Bros. Coffee Pot Water Tower (Nebraska)
25 – See Rock City Barn (Tennessee)
26 – Spoonbridge and Cherry (Minnesota)
27 – Teapot Dome Gas Station (Washington)
28 – The Big Chair (Washington, D.C.)
29 – The Big Duck (New York)
30 – The Blue Whale (Oklahoma)
31 – Twistee Treat (Florida, Texas, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois)
32 – Volkswagen Beetle Spider (Iowa, Alabama, California, Nevada, Idaho, Pennsylvania)
33 – Watermelon Water Tower (Texas)
34 – Wawona Tree Tunneled Sequoia (California)
35 – “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign (Nevada)
36 – Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower) (Illinois)
37 – World’s Largest Basket (Ohio)
38 – World’s Largest Bat (Kentucky)
39 – World’s Largest Chili Pepper (New Mexico)
40 – World’s Largest Pecan (Texas)
41 – World’s Largest Pistachio (New Mexico)

Best of the Rest – Part 3

Posted: December 14, 2017 in Miscellaneous, Photos

The high-end residences known as The Warehouses at Union Row in the Shaw/Uptown neighborhood

Today’s blog post is part three of a five-part series of my favorite miscellaneous photos from the past year that have not been previously posted here on my blog.  Part 1 and Part 2 of the series were previously posted.  And please come back each Friday for the rest of this month for Part 4 and Part 5 of my year-end collection of miscellaneous photos from 2017.

 

[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

1 – The George Washington mural on U Street
2 – The base of the fountain at Meridian Hill Park
3 – A very bright red rose in the sunlight that caught my eye as I was riding by
4 – The fountain and soon to be outdoor ice rink at the National Sculpture Garden
5 – A reporter and cameraman on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the U.S. Department of Justice Building.
6 – A sign from times past on a building near Blagdon Avenue
7 – An encouraging mural on the back of Union Market
8 – A very colorful chair on the patio of a restaurant off 14th Street
9 – The modern symmetry of a downtown office building stands in stark contrast to other architecture
10 – Some mushrooms that look more like pancakes on the base of a tree on 13th Street
11 – Some samples of vegetables grown at the United States Botanic Garden
12 – Window washers scaling down the side of the National Press Club building
13 – A bench in Franklin Square Park decorated in memory of a homeless woman wo lived there
14 – A flower vendor outside of the Farragut Square North Metro Station
15 – A duck walking  down the sidewalk along the Southwest Waterfront near The Titanic Memorial
16 – A public artwork of a pink double-hump camel
17 – A piece of art outside near the front entrance to the Hirshorn Museum
18 – A street performer playing for tips in Farragut Square Park
19 – A man wearing an unusually geeky hat during the full solar eclipse
20 – A sticker on a Prius that reads “Cool Prius, Said Nobody”
21 – Police Officers outside FBI Headquarters arresting a man
22 – A large, colorful W in front of The W Hotel downtown on 15th Street
23 – Fresh vegetables for sale at the farmers market at the National Geographic headquarters building
24 – The Spirit of Washington sinner cruise ship travelling up the Washington Channel
25 – A Pabst Blue Ribbon mural on the side of a bar on U Street
26 – Protestors protesting in front of the White House about a variety of issues
27 – What’s left of a bike that was not securely locked in the Petworth neighborhood
28 – People lined up at a food truck parked with all the others along the streets bordering Farragut Square Park
29 – A hopefully friendly dog wearing a sign that says pet me tied up near Union Market
30 – The Southwest Waterfront just east of the redevelopment construction
31 – A window washing rig on the side of a building that seems to disappear into the sky
32 – A sculpture in the National Sculpture Garden
33 – A sign reading Resist Persist on the side of a building
34 – A bench in a shady spot in Lower Senate Park on Capitol Hill
35 – Flowers at Caruso’s Florist on Rhode Island Avenue near the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle
36 – The Smithsonian Institute, more commonly referred to as The Castle because of its appearance
37 – An American flag hanging from the National Broadcasters Association building
38 – Some tourists trying to take a photo of an uncooperative subject in the Mary Ripley Garden
39 – A cooking demonstration at the United States Botanic Garden using plants grown there
40 – More protestors in front of the White House because, well, there are protestors in front of the White House
41 – The statue of a cow randomly placed in a front yard
42 – One of my favorite lunch spots, MGM Roast Beef

The Poinsettia Room at the United States Botanic Garden

The Poinsettia is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays.  No flower says Christmas like the beautiful Poinsettia.  I particularly remember them being used to decorate the pulpit and front of the sanctuary in church when I was growing up.  Our family’s church would sell them during December to help raise money during the holidays for the poor.   The people who bought them would then pick them up after the Christmas Eve worship service to take them home.  And each year my parents would buy several, including one for an elderly widow in the church, who would take it home and eventually plant it in her garden.  A particularly difficult plant to keep alive when planted outdoors in areas that experience colder climates, the widow not only planted it each year, but they thrived.  She had a garden full of the Poinsettias my parents had given her.

During this lunchtime bike ride I made a stop at the United States Botanic Garden.  I was unaware of it until I was actually in it, but they have a Poinsettia Room.  And I was used to Poinsettias with traditional dark red blooms and green foliage, but the Botanic Garden Poinsettia Room is full of a wide variety of different Poinsettias of varying colors.  Though once only available in red, there are currently more than 100 natural and hybrid varieties of Poinsettias available in burgundy, pink, white, yellow, purple, salmon, and multi-colors. They have names like ‘Premium Picasso’, ‘Monet Twilight’, ‘Shimmer’, and ‘Surprise’.  The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think of as the flowers are actually colored bracts, which are modified leaves.  The colors of the bracts are created through “photoperiodism”, meaning that they require darkness for 12 hours at a time for at least five days in a row in order to change color.  Then, once Poinsettias finish that process, the plants require abundant light during the day for the brightest color

The word Poinsettia is traditionally capitalized because it is named after a person.  Poinsettias received their name in this country in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who introduced the plant into the country in 1825.  Poinsett was a botanist, physician and the first United States Ambassador to Mexico. Poinsett sent cuttings of the plant he had discovered in Southern Mexico to his home in Charleston, South Carolina.  The poinsettia is a perennial shrub that will grow 10-15 feet tall in their native Mexico, where they are found in the wild in deciduous tropical forest at moderate elevations from southern Sinaloa down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico to Chiapas and Guatemala.  They are also found in the interior of Mexico in the hot, seasonally dry forests of Gurerro and Oxaca.  In Mexico they are known as “”La Flor de la Nochebuena”, meaning “Flower of the Holy Night, or Christmas Eve.

Paul Ecke, Jr. is considered the father of the Poinsettia industry due to his discovery of a technique which caused seedlings to branch. This technique allowed the Poinsettia industry to flourish, and for the Ecke Ranch in California to nearly corner the market.  Today Poinsettias are the best selling potted plant in the United States and Canada, and the Ecke Ranch grows over 70 percent of all Poinsettias purchased in the United States and about 50 percent of the world-wide sales of Poinsettias.

A popular rumor over the years resulted in the misperception that Poinsettias are poisonous if eaten.  However, scientific studies have determined that, for example, a 50-pound child would have to eat more than a pound-and-a-quarter of Poinsettia leaves, which is the equivalent of between 500 and 600 leaves, to have any side effects. The same is true with animals. The most common side effects that have been reported from Poinsettia ingestions are upset stomach and vomiting. The leaves are reportedly not very tasty, so it’s highly unlikely that kids or even pets would be able to eat that many.

Today is Poinsettia Day, which marks the anniversary of the death of Poinsett in 1851.  So enjoy the following photos of some of the different Poinsettias I saw today.  And I encourage anyone who is able to stop by the Botanic Garden between now and January 1st to see the Poinsettia Room and all of the other holiday decorations and displays.

 

[Click on the photos to view the full-size versions]

Plant-Based D.C. Landmarks

Sadly, despite having worked in downtown D.C. for the past 30 years, I had never visited the United States Botanic Garden during the Christmas holiday season before this year.  I’ve been there many times but not during the holidays. But a friend who only lived here for a year before moving out of the area knew about the Botanic Garden’s annual holiday display, entitled Season’s Greenings, and the sights, smells, and sounds that accompany it.  When she asked me about this year’s display, it prompted me to go check it out.  And I’m so glad I did.

This year’s display is a multifaceted one that stretches throughout the Botanic Garden.  First, it includes the return of a series of D.C. landmarks made out of plant materials.  The holiday display also includes thousands of blooms throughout the Conservatory, from exotic orchids to a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties in the seasonal Poinsettia Room.  Lastly, this year’s holiday decorations include a showcase of model trains chugging around, below, through, and above plant-based recreations of iconic sights and roadside attractions from across the United States.

I will be covering the Poinsettia display, and the model train and roadside attractions showcase in the near future.  Today’s blog post focuses on the collection of D.C. landmarks, all made from a myriad of plant and other natural materials, which is displayed in the Garden Court.  There are a dozen local landmarks and memorials on display this year.  The White House swing set, which had been included in previous years, was not present this year because the actual swing set is no longer at the White House.  In it’s place is the Albert Einstein Memorial.  Also new this year is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened a little over a year ago.  All of the landmarks would be incredible in and of themselves.  But knowing that they are made of plants adds to the experience.

For added holiday cheer at the Botanic Garden, there are concerts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in December, when hours are extended until 8pm.  If you can, I highly recommend going on one of these days for both the music and to see the exhibit and plant collections illuminated by colorful lights.  One of my first thoughts after seeing Seasons Greenings was wishing that I had known about it and gone in previous years.  So do yourself a favor and go so you don’t have the same thought years from now.

 

[Click on the photos above to view the full size versions]

1 – U.S. Capitol Building
2 – The Thomas Jefferson Memorial
3 – Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building
4 – Lincoln Memorial
5 – National Museum of African American History and Culture
6 – National Museum of the American Indian
7 – Smithsonian Institution, The Castle
8 – U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory
9 – U.S. Supreme Court
10 – Washington Monument
11 – White House
12 – Albert Einstein Memorial

NOTE:  My blog post on “Seasons Greetings: Railroads and Roadside Attractions” will appear next Monday.