Sunday, January 25, 2009

The King and I.


I headed out on my own today for a few hours of sketching and looking and photographing and relative quietness.  Dr. SmartyPants and the boys stayed home and hung out together - watching the end of the 24 hours of Daytona and playing the Wii.

I went straight to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and ended up spending most of my day there.  I could spend a solid week there and still not see everything, I think.  What a magnificent museum.  It is so well-planned - such a nice flow, and really wonderful exhibits.  I can't wait to go back and take the boys with me. 

I sketched quite a bit, when I could find an uninterrupted space.  This T-Rex was drawn from the ramp leading up to the Hope Diamond room.  I used the balcony railing to support the sketchbook.  You can't help but laugh at the T-Rex, you know.  What useless little arms.  Of course, if I were faced with one in real life, I doubt I'd be noticing those arms - not with that gigantic mouth full of teeth facing me down.

When I was in college, majoring in geology. I worked at the University of Alabama's Museum of Natural History.  I spent a lot of time with dental picks and paint brushes excavating a mosasaur from the chalk layers that had preserved it so well.  It was painstaking, exacting work, occasionally mind-and-hand-numbing, but I loved it.  I had wonderful opportunities to go out into the field and search for fossils, and I found quite a few - shark teeth and mosasaur vertebrae, crinoid stems and trilobites.

'Cause I'm cool like that.

I'll be taking the boys back with me next week, I think.  Maybe even tomorrow. 

And I hope they love it as much as I do.