There’s a dinosaur on the Mall

August 24, 2006

Triceratops horridus roamed northwestern North America 65-70 million years ago when the climate was warmer and wetter. This sculpture was cast, using 3-D modeling based on computer scans, from the original skull of a triceratops in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Dinosaur Hall. Fierce as he looks, he was a herbivore.


We need rain!

August 23, 2006

Another early morning shot. A gardener waters plants outside the Smithsonian Castle, which now houses the visitor center with orientation exhibits and a coffee shop.

Before the tourists arrive

August 22, 2006

The outdoor cafe at the Hirschorn Museum early on a Sunday morning. The Hirschorn is the Smithsonian’s museum of modern and contemporary art.

Yes, it’s an outhouse

August 21, 2006

It’s an outhouse, but it’s far from rustic, and it isn’t a hole in the ground. Lilypons Water Gardens uses a high-tech composting toilet system that requires no water and produces nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer.

Before you wrinkle your nose, it is entirely odor-free (unlike porta-potties) and the composting toilet process is completely safe.

In fact, it is more safe and less polluting than a traditional sewage treatment plant, where toxic substances from factories and homes enter the system along with human waste. The sludge produced by sewage treatment plants is used as fertilizer in spite of the fact that some of the toxic substances have not been removed. The composting toilet, on the other hand, produces fertilizer that is natural and free of chemical toxins.

Water sprite

August 20, 2006


This pensive lady watches over one of the demonstration water gardens tucked away at Lilypons Water Gardens in Maryland.

Water gardening

August 19, 2006

If you live in the Washington area and you’re thinking of putting a pond in your garden, the best place to go is Lilypons Water Gardens. There you’ll find all the inspiration you need, supplies, countless kinds of water lilies, koi, and experts to help you plan and stock your water garden. They’ll even install it for you.


Lilypons is about an hour’s drive from Washington in the countryside of Frederick County, Maryland. Once there, you can wander 300 acres of water lily and lotus beds, koi tanks, water gardens, and water features. The business has been family owned and operated since 1917, and it shows in the friendly atmosphere—how many garden centers do you know that encourage you to bring a picnic lunch and eat al fresco?

Tricky Dicky

August 18, 2006

This will bring back memories for some of my readers and others will be too young to remember, other than as a history lesson. This dart board was in the window of an antique shop I passed a couple of weeks ago, but it’s gone now (snapped up by a memorabilia collector perhaps).