Category Archives: Non Profits

The Butterfly Garden at Acton Nature Center

The Acton Nature Center of Hood County is a very special place and today I visited their butterfly garden. I did come here last year, but the summer was extra dry and the butterflies were limited. But this year there were a ton of butterflies in the garden. They looked like Monarch’s to me at first, but now I’m pretty sure they were queen butterflies and maybe a couple of monarchs and some smaller yellow ones. While I was there I also caught sight of some brilliant cardinals and a little grey hummingbird. Also some huge grasshoppers and dragonflies. And while it was cooler than last year (just in the mid-90s) it was still too hot for me to take the longer walk. Someday I’ll do that.  Admission is free.

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Creation Evidence Museum, Glen Rose, Texas

A few years back I found the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose State Park and I was enchanted at the chance to stand in an actual dinosaur footprint. On the way there I noticed the Creation Evidence Museum, 3102 FM 205, Glen Rose, Texas 76043. Well this Texas trip I went back to check out the museum because I think it is good for me to explore different view points and a fair number of folks must believe in creation because there are two US museums devoted to this topic. This one in Glen Rose is the smaller of the two. The 27 million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky has a full size replica of Noah’s Ark! In fact this article, based on a Gallop poll, states 46% of the US adult population believes in Creationism (God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so).

General impressions:

  • The 45 minute introductory video by the museum director, Carl Baugh, walked the audience through many of the museum’s exhibits. If I wasn’t such a skeptic (thanks dad) I would have found it very convincing. Wikipedia suggests that there is controversy around Mr. Baugh’s theories.
  • I’m learning that I didn’t really understand the theory of creationism. The video suggested that the earth, animals, dinosaurs, people and all was put into place in seven actual earth days. Charts were presented. The science was explained. Biblical passages were quoted.
  • I really enjoyed many of the exhibits. I like dinosaurs and there were a few to see. I like the Noah’s ark story and there was a really large model of the ark. I like models.
  • The people that worked there were sincerely nice.
  • The museum was well maintained and the bathrooms were clean.
  • Nobody preached at me.
  • Per the museum’s information dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time and the earth is about 6,000 years old.
  • I had trouble getting my head around dinosaurs being on Noah’s ark (let’s just assume that there really was a Noah’s ark). So I read up on it. The logic is that some of the larger dinosaurs were taken as babies, so not so big at the time. And many of the dinosaurs actually were little. And the water dinosaurs didn’t need the ark. You can see the dinosaurs on the ark in the model (go ahead, look)
  • But what happened to the dinosaurs under that scenario?! One article suggested that they tasted like chicken and were a food source. Well ok then.
  • I liked the holiday decorations on the t-rex head.
  • There was a Pulsed Magnetic Field (PMF) unit which looked like a long tube. The sign on it stated in bold, all cap, underlined, red letters “Our magnetic field unit is not turned on at any time during public visits to the museum. You are not under the field’s influence at this moment!” Well, I hadn’t really been worried about it. There was a glass pane missing and I’d think it would have to be a sealed unit to work. I’d kind of like to know the last time it actually was turned on.
  • The full size replica of the Guttenberg was fascinating.
  • I had no idea that Tom Landry was so very involved with Creationism. He was the coach of the Dallas Cowboys when I lived in the Dallas area. There is a larger than life size statue of him at the museum. It is next to a statue of a native American. Mr. Landry was also featured on the video.

So there you have it. I’m glad I went. It certainly didn’t convince me of creationism, but I came away with a better understanding of what it is and why people believe it. There were a bunch of children there and this information is being presented as fact.

The museum costs $6 a person (5 and under are free). Their website is here. Personally I think that no matter what you believe, it is worthwhile to visit. I gained interesting insights.

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Dear Daughter Got Hitched: Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium and Totem Poles

By Wednesday, our small family group expanded to include Dear SIL’s parents and brother and we all went off to the Vancouver Aquarium because dear daughter wanted to touch the stingrays. That is an odd goal that she has … to visit stingray tanks in as many zoos and aquariums as possible. So far she has Vancouver, Tacoma, Chicago, LA and Galveston, TX. The Vancouver Aquarium is justifiably  internationally famous and some of our visit highlights included the jellyfish, the otters and seals (so playful), the educational shows, the frogs and that I got to be there when the penguins were delivered back to their habitat.

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Afterwards we went to see the Totem Poles, which are also in Stanley Park. Interesting facts about totem poles can be found here.

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Natives at the Pacific Bonsai Museum

Dear daughter and I went to revisit the Himalayan Blue Poppies at the Weyerhaeuser Rhododendron Gardens in Federal Way before they completely faded away for the season. In the United States, these poppies only grow in parts of New England, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, so we are lucky.

While we were they we checked out the adjoining Pacific Bonsai Museum, which we had been through a half dozen times. This time though there was a really great exhibit titled Natives. Per the brochure “each display in Natives is a composition of four artists — the bonsai artists, the kusamono artist (Young Choe), the ceramicist (Victoria Chamberlain) and the visual artist (Iuna Tinta)”. In case you don’t know (I didn’t) a kusamono artist creates potted arrangements of wild grasses and flowers in unique pots or trays. So each display has a bonsai, a companion kusamono (accent), the ceramic art (often using minerals from the depicted region) and a visual piece of art, all of which are centered around a particular place. It is a marvelous exhibit and worth some real time. The exhibit runs from April 8- October 8, 2017 and more information can be found here.

And, of course, there are some photos of the blue poppies and other foliage from the gardens.

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The Dora Lee Langdon Cultural & Educational Center

imageIn an attempt to avoid the Texas heat, today I went to the Dora Lee Langdon Cultural & Educational Center is located at 308 East Pearl Street, Granbury, TX 76048 in the AP Gordon House. The art exhibit that brought me in was a solo exhibit of Gene Gregory and I enjoyed his vibrant paintings. The property was constructed as the Gordon house in 1882 and is actually smaller than it had originally been since the owners “downsized” by removing some of the back of the building in 1956.





A list of all the historic Granbury properties can be found here.

Jellies at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

imageSqueezing in a little last bite of summer, a bunch of us went to to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium  to visit the jellies and the big cats. It was such a treat because one of the group of our happy group actually volunteers at the zoo and was able to tell us about the animals. I was so busy chatting with my friends, that I forgot to take many photos! Perhaps the dearest of the exhibits was the cloud leopards cubs even though they just slept there in a big pile of darlingness.

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Wet Science Center, Olympia

imageThe LOTT WET Science Center at 500 Adams Street NE, Olympia was a pleasant find. LOTT’s WET (Water Education and Technology) looked pretty inviting with its outdoor water features, so I went in, asking if it was strictly for kids.  The lady behind the counter assured me that I was welcome and I explored the space with great interest. The center is open 10-4 and is free. They even have things to give away like a shower timer and a small bag carrier (poo bags) that can be clipped to a dog’s leash. There is a variety of educational interactive exhibits and they even have a box turtle.  There are often special events especially on Saturdays and school groups come by during the school year. They have a website and a Facebook page. They also have a Twitter Feed and a YouTube Channel!

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WSU Bear Research, Education, and Conservation Center

IMG_3829Washington State University in Pullman has a Bear Research, Education and Conservation Center that I finally got to visit when I dropped dear daughter off for her next year of college. We got to see five (maybe six) grizzly bears in their enclosures. I was hoping to see them in their larger, outdoor area (and it would have made for a better photo), but not this time. Bears that are capable of living in the wild are not situated at the center. It was a real treat to see the bears at such a close range and I couldn’t help but to notice that other people would stop by the center to spend a little time with them. More information can be found here.


Poulsbo Marine Science Center

11640381284_6ba1f0d4b4_b(1)Poulsbo Marine Science Center at 18743 Front St NE, Poulsbo, WA 98370 was my choice while my dear husband perused antique stores in the charming town of Poulsbo. The center is free, though donations are encouraged. There is a large open touch tank as well as several aquariums with such great things as jelly fish, clown fish, sea stars, sea anemones and an octopus (pictured above).

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Tacoma General Hospital

Tacoma GeneralTacoma General Hospital at 315 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. is Tacoma’s largest hospital and part of the Multicare Health Systems. Their website is here

The hospital has a long history, beginning in 1882 in the Old Town neighborhood of Tacoma under the name of Fannie C. Paddock Memorial Hospital. It has 437 licensed beds and 16 operating rooms. Dear daughter was born there almost 18 years ago!

I went to TG to hear a sexual assault nurse (forensic nurse examiner) discuss the nature of her job, a fascinating and heartbreaking topic. The link for that department can be found here