Somehow I talked the whole family into meeting at the Mitchell Park Domes in Milwaukee yesterday afternoon. The history of the domes and the land for the park goes all the way back to the turn of the century but the current horticultural domes were opened to the Milwaukee public in the 1960's.
|Wayne at far left, Charlie, Katrina and Cory follow behind|
The first dome we checked out was the desert environment, which contained palms, succulents, cacti and grasses from the American Southwest, Africa, Madagascar, South America and Mexico.
I bought a new tripod so was experimenting with using it, and have to admit it was easier to change my lenses with the tripod keeping me a little more "hands free". My shots turned out a little sharper, too.
The light wasn't the greatest in the domes, I found that even when I tweaked the shots the color feels a little flat to me. Natural light would make the plants look better, but we did save all that time and gas money by not having to go to the real desert.
The tropical dome supposedly contains live birds, frogs and lizards but even though we looked we did not find any except the fake frog in the pond.
Katrina found a big bunch of bananas. No monkeys, unfortunately.
And there were a few nice looking orchids to brighten things up.
In the Show Dome the current exhibit features model trains, which is how I talked the men into this outing in the first place.
As you can see in the above shot, the domes are not really that big. I'd say 75% of the floor space of the Show Dome is in the picture. The kids were having a good time though, and of course the star of the show was Thomas.
The details were fun to search out, I liked the fact that there was a hiker in the park scene.
Another favorite was the "Tremblerz" tableau which was a take on the movie monsters from "Tremors", one of Wayne's beloved "B" movies.
Earl Bassett: Hey, Rhonda you ever seen anything like this before?
Valentine McKee: Oh, sure Earl. Everyone knows about them we just didn't tell you.
Wayne also spotted coyotes. See the one on top of the rock in the shot below?
I'm glad we went, but I wouldn't go again. We've been to so many nicer garden exhibits in our travels. I've been meaning to get to the Chicago Botanical Gardens for the last couple of summers, (ever since Judy showcased in on her blog!) maybe this will be the year I finally get around to it
After we got back home yesterday Cory and I packed up my little car and headed for Kentucky. Red River Gorge with a bit of snow from that big winter storm should make for an interesting winter hiking trip, and I'm hoping the roads are clear enough later in the week that Sharon can stop by and hit a trail or two with us!