Emma had Friday off school, so we took a drive up to see the Milwaukee County Zoo and The Domes in Mitchell Park. Temps were in the 50s, which was great for the zoo --lots of animals out and about. But The Domes were amazing! I didn't even know these existed until Rob asked if we wanted to visit them the same day we were planning to go to the zoo. I looked them up, and was fascinated. There are three, but really only two are real ecosystems. One is tropical, one is desert, and the last they call a "show" dome. The show dome had some beautiful hydrangeas and foxglove, but it was not interesting compared to the other two.
These pictures are all from the tropical dome, and they don't really do it justice. If you live in the area and haven't been, you should GO! I only had my phone camera, and the lighting was really difficult. Every step we took, we were exclaiming over some new plant, with Emma just as fascinated as Rob and I.
This is the entrance to the Tropical Dome, and walking in from rainy 50's to warm and humid was nice (for a time).
Emma was fascinated by these flowers that were as large as her head.
This tree was so cool, but there was no way to take a really good picture of it. The top is like a big fan --the different geometries of nature that we saw here and in the Desert Dome were so interesting.
There were several places with different orchids growing, but between the lighting and a phone camera, this was the only photo that came out.
The trunk of this tree was completely obscured by the climbing vine.
Emma had never seen a banana tree before, and was amazed at both the size of the leaves and the way bananas grow.
This plant was awesome --it is hung in a harness from tree limbs, and it looks like a big (massive) ginger root with leaves growing out of it. I have no idea what it is, but apparently it doesn't need soil.
These flowers were growing on a shrub and have the most amazing stamens --again with the cool geometry.
And this guy --isn't that right out of the Harry Potter world? I was waiting for this tree to detach some hands and start gesturing.
This would be a wonderful place to go with a really good camera and tripod. You could spend hours with these plants and still find something new.