Butterflies weren't the only animal in the rainforest display. Parrots also flew through the air, and there were collections of reptiles and insects. (One of us found rainforest spiders to be particularly menacing.) Forests from three different continents were represented, including Costa Rica, Madagascar and the Amazon.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
One of the things I love to do when I travel is give other family members a chance to help me plan our trips. When we visited San Francisco in March, I asked my youngest daughter for ideas, and her priority was visiting The Japanese Tea Garden and The California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. Together, they were a true highlight of our trip. I’ve written about the Japanese Tea Garden earlier. Today I’ll keep the words to a minimum, as I let our photos from the Academy of Sciences speak for themselves.
One of our favourite displays at the Academy was the four-story rainforest. This self-contained exhibit was held within a ninety-foot diameter dome with a spiral walkway leading from floor to floor. While it was all impressive, the butterflies were especially breathtaking. Hundreds of them flew freely throughout the exhibit, one even landing on my mom's sweater.
With a collection of nearly 40,000 animals, the Steinhart Aquarium was dazzling. The standout exhibit was the Philippine coral reef habitat, based on one of the most diverse coral reefs in the world. Full of colour and beauty, there were over 4,000 animals in that display alone. The Northern Californian exhibit may have been less exotic, but it boasted a sanctuary with floor-to-ceiling display cases, and separate exhibits depicting tide pools, estuaries and rocky reefs.