Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DC Trip Part &

The Natural History Museum

Nathan poses proudly.

Mom (of course) checks the Michellin guide.

A ferocious Adelie penguin.

Some ferocious shark jaws.

That's a big fish. 

A ferocious looking extinct thing.

Even without skin, bats are cool. 

Even without skin, penguins are creepy. 

There's death in those eyes.

A  real live scorpion!

An elephant, neither real nor live.

I guess I should learn more about this Hope Diamond.  Maybe then I'll figure out why it's so famous. 

Ellen, eyeing the shiny rocks and minerals.

Nathan, standing where I put him to pose for this awkward picture with quartz.

Christmas crystals.

Smithsonite, named after the same guy the Smithsonian is named after.

Pretty opals.

I kind of got carried away taking pictures of all the "sparkly things."  Most of it is quartz.  

Inside a geode.

I'm reminded of David Smith's Cubi sculptures.

Nature's rainbow.

I was particularly intrigued at the name of this necklace.  It's super gaudy.  I'd wear it.

This was probably my favorite part of the Natural History museum.  Wearable nature.

Sapphires:  My Birthstone.

Pearls!  PEARLS!  

I had to include this as an homage to Harry Potter.  It's a diadem.  :D  The Marie Louise Diadem, to be exact, containing over 1,000 diamonds (700 carats) and some Persian turquoise that replaced the 79 emeralds before the diadem was given to the Smithsonian.  This was given by Napoleon to his second wife, Marie Louise, for a wedding present.

This is the Napoleon Diamond Necklace, containing 172 diamonds (about 260 carats) and set in silver.  It's surprising how dull they seem with the old-style cut.  This was a gift to Marie from her husband upon the birth of her first son.

These diamond earrings were worn by Marie Antoinette. The diamonds are around 14 - 20 carats apiece. Perhaps she had them as she escaped from the French Revolution?  

Ah, the Hope Diamond.  Given by Harry Winston in 1958.  This rock is the biggest deep blue diamond in the world, at 45.52 carats.  To celebrate its 50th Anniversary at the Museum, the people of America were invited to vote on a new setting for this precious piece.  The winning design was entitled Embracing Hope.  More than 340 baguette diamonds encircle the Hope stone in this setting.  I did like this design, but I am thankful that it will only be in this setting for a limited time.  The original setting suits me better.  

Dinosaur bones... we just barely glanced at these on our way out.  I was hungry.  I had seen the Hope Diamond, and that's all I really cared about.


My mistake!  There was one more thing I needed to take a picture of.  Off to the mammal room, to find the moose!

Note the majesty and grandeur of this quadruped.  His tranquil gaze seems to penetrate the simple elements of nature and perceive the sublime.

While in the Mammal Room, I saw a funny giraffe.

... And some prairie dogs.  I took pictures as an homage to my cousin, Aubrey.

I'm sure Aubrey would say something like this... "Look at that animal!  I want to eat it!"

Listening to:  The View
Things Going On today:  A presentation by my friend Hailey for a Relief Society Activity.
Blessings:  Hair Straighteners.
Learned:  About the Hope Diamond.  See above. 

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