June 12, 2013
I have always wanted to go visit the USS Lexington aircraft carrier, now amuseum in Corpus Christi. It’s not like I haven’t had time. It became a museum in 1992. I came close on year when our family visited the Texas State Aquarium right beside the “Blue Ghost”. But with young babies and a tired wife, it just wasn’t meant to be that year.
This year for my birthday (I turned 39, again), my family treated me to a weekend trip to Corpus to see the ship. It was just the bright, sunny kind of day you would expect for the coast and we spent all afternoon touring the flight deck down to the engine room. There is a lot to see with much of the ship available for viewing. Portions of it is air conditioned, but parts are not, so this is a tour that might be enjoyed more in cooler weather. Summer in south Texas tends to get a bit warm.
Climbing the stairs in the island takes you to the bridge. It looks a bit tired now, but I’m sure it was a hopping place years ago, as planes would come and go as this huge ship roamed the seas in WWII, then later as a training carrier on our east coast.
June 7, 2013
Architecture, England, Museum
At the heart of Windsor Castle in England is the Middle Ward, a bailey formed around the motte or artificial hill in the center of the ward. The motte is 50 ft high and is made from chalk originally excavated from the surrounding ditch. The keep, called the Round Tower, rests on top and is today used to provide additional space for the Royal Archives.
May 30, 2013
Part of the draw of visiting a great museum is the attention to detail and the little things that make the exhibits stand out or look so special. It might be the dramatic lighting or maybe a realistic diorama. But it could be the absence of things, using simplicity as “standard” for the display.
The simplicity of the Faberge display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science allows you to focus your full attention on the exquisite collection and the detail of each exhibit. In this case, the large Diamond Trellis Egg is on the left, while the Nobel Egg or ”Snowflake Egg” is on the right.
May 10, 2013
Aviation, Florida, Museum
You can’t beat a museum for variety, whether it’s art, science or something more specific like a car or aviation museum. The National Naval Aviation Museum at the Naval Air Station (NAS) in Pensacola, Florida is no exception. Dating back from the beginnings of flight, to some of the most modern aircraft, they have it all.
The modern Grumman F-14D Tomcat against the nostalgic Que Sera Sera, are just some of the variety you will find in their collection.
May 6, 2013
It’s hard taking a photograph of a small object. Your focus has to be just right, the camera can’t move and lighting is always a concern. Put it behind a glass case and job just became harder. But that is nothing compared with actually creating a subject as small as this piece of history.
Part of the McFerrin Fabergé Collection, this locket is on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s ”Fabergé A Brilliant Vision” Exhibit at Houston’s Museum of Natural Science.
April 30, 2013
Part of the McFerrin Fabergé Collection, this presentation box is on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science this year.
Given in 1902 by Tsar Nichlas II to Leon Bourgeois, a French politican and statesman, it is made of gold and decorated with enamel and diamonds. It features the initials of Nicholas II on the cover. At that time, the Imperial Russian court was known for lavish gifts presented to foreign dignitaries visiting Russia. Bourgeois was one of 90 foreigners to receive a snuffbox with the emperor’s initials. It measures about four inches across.
April 21, 2013
Alabama, Aviation, Museum
Springtime is a great time of year to get outside and visit historical parks and museums. Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama is home of the Battleship USS Alabama. There a many other things to see, including over two dozen airplanes, the USS Drum submarine, not to mention the Battleship Alabama itself.
This is a C-47D Skytrain Military Transport sitting proudly at the park. The C-47D was a modified version of the DC-3, with a reinforced fuselage floor and the addition of a large cargo door.
April 13, 2013
Aviation, Florida, Museum
When you first enter the National Naval Aviation Museum, you approach a larger than life tribute to Naval Aviators. Captain Robert L. Rasmussen, USN (Ret.) and Director of the Museum conceived the design to salute five significant stages in its history, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Each airman is sculpted in flight equipment of their period.
Suspended above the aviators is the A-1 Triad, the Navy’s first aircraft and one of the earliest hydroaeroplanes.
April 12, 2013
This little sword (actually designed to be a paper knife and just over 6 inches) was created in 1886. Made from from nephrite, gold, rose diamonds and sapphires, it was produced in the workshop of the workmaster Gabriel Niukkanen, in St Petersburg. This was on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
April 5, 2013
A few months back, I was at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the evening and left well after dark. As I was exiting through the main gallery, I couldn’t help but wonder if that large dinosaur woke up every night when no one was around to watch. This museum is much larger than this photo gives credit, due to its many smaller galleries in every direction.