A day of contrasts (23rd February 2015): planes, planes and more flying machines in the morning at Pima Air and Space Museum, followed by natural flying machines and wonders at the Senora Desert Museum in the afternoon…
The weather today was HOT – we nearly got sunstroke just queuing to get in to the Pima Air and Space Museum . It seemed busy from the queue, but the site is so big (80 acres) that it didn’t feel crowded inside. I’m not a plane enthusiast, but the sight of so many different planes did demonstrate how many different ways there are of achieving flight.
This was my favourite (the proper plane buffs will undoubtedly go ‘what?’) – it would probably fit on my drive!
We visited the Space section and while it had many interesting exhibits such as this model of the International Space Station it was very out of date (eg one board referred to a mission due to launch in 2006, and there were many similar examples).
It was also rather tired, dark and old fashioned, with lots of things out of service. Where interactive facilities were available they proved popular. Mike crashed spectacularly – did anyone else manage to land safely on the Moon?
We wondered whether we could make the upgrading a class project for the summer – I’m sure we could be persuaded to go back and help!
By contrast the 390th Division exhibition was excellent in a new, light and airy hangar with informative boards and well presented artifacts. As an example, it gave an insight into the work of the American Air Force in providing food to besieged Europeans during WW2 – using first hand accounts was very powerful. As I have a Belgian friend who was one of the besieged and suffered starvation this was particularly poignant.
Mike was booked on the Boneyard Tour for the afternoon, but I headed with my coursemates to the Senora Desert Museum. I had thought about staying with Mike, but I’m so glad I didn’t!
The Museum is unlike any other ‘Museum’ I’ve ever been to! Its more like a wildlife/environmental park, but it was a great place for just wandering around and enjoying the diversity of nature. The natural flora and fauna are somewhat different to home…
For me the stand out was the humming bird enclosure. I probably spent half my time there. It was amazing being dive-bombed by the lovely little birds, watching them feed, seeing them feed their young and sit on their nests, and then show off! To see relatively blandly coloured birds suddenly exhibit very flashy colours and then revert was great fun.
Trying to capture the colours proved challenging – but taking lots of shots and hoping for the best paid off. The Museum provided tips for attracting humming birds to your garden – I think that would be rather a challenge for here.
I also enjoyed watching otters fish and play and saw beavers up close for the first time (I was surprised how big and powerful they were). To finish I spent some time inside with the fish tanks. This one made me giggle…
A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
We ended the day with a Vietnamese meal – the portions were immense. Look at Sarah’s meal – that fed Sarah, Paul M and there was still some left!