For D.'s recent birthday we spent a special day in San Francisco at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, noted for its recent make-over including a "living roof." Here are some of the pics I took.
In the main entry area we see a huge fake snake, a mechanical anaconda.
While waiting in line to enter the Rainforests of the World exhibit, we have an opportunity to learn new languages.
Claude the albino alligator lives in an exhibit replicating a southern U.S. swamp. For his 15th birthday last year the staff gave him fish-flavored cupcakes, whose ingredients included gator chow (yes, there is such a thing as gator chow) and almost 2 cups of phytoplankton.
A giraffe towers over us, and Disapproving Giraffe Disapproves.
Another towering creature, the ten-foot-tall skeleton of an extinct elephant bird (Aepyornis maximus) looms over our heads. Its eggs were over a foot long.
The outside of the Planetarium dome.
The famous Living Roof hosts over 70 species of California native plants.
It being living, they have to water it. They also have to weed it.
Can you imagine having to weed a roof?
Skylights above the larger domes open and close throughout the day, enabling sunlight to reach the exhibits below.
Two weather stations on the roof convey real-time data to computers that control when the various windows and skylights open and close. The instruments measure solar radiation, rainfall, wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity.
Another view of the Living Roof, showing the infamous San Francisco summer fog in the background.
Plants on the roof include succulents, which are hardy and drought-tolerant, ground covers and native grasses and wildflowers.
More pics are on the way, so watch this space!
Snakes and Lizards here.
Coral Reef here.
African Hall here.
California Coast here.