Nature photography on the National Mall: Birds, Butterflies, & Tarantulas

The group, led by Barbara Saffir, nature photographer and author, will meet at the FDR Memorial book store/visitor center on the Tidal Basin on Sunday, 24 February 2019 at 8 am, approximately. Then they’ll hike about 4ish miles total — with lots of stops — first along the Tidal Basin looking for snazzy-looking wintering ducks & then onto Constitution Gardens on the National Mall for more ducks and other birds. Perhaps they’ll even stumble upon an albino squirrel, a red fox, or other capital critter. Afterward, our “adults-only” group will head to the Smithsonian’s National Museum for Natural History for its live insect zoo and live butterfly exhibit. The museum opens at 10 am and you need to BUY IN ADVANCE your own individual butterfly tickets for 10:30 am ($7 to $7.50) . The tarantula feeding is at 11:30 a.m. Butterfly tickets are here:

If they aren’t tuckered out by then, they can optionally stop for lunch at the National Gallery of Art’s Pavilion Cafe by the ice skating rink.

Snow/ice cancels entire event. Rain just cancels the hike but they’ll still go to the Smithsonian and then to the indoor U.S. Botanical Garden.

Parking on Ohio Drive should be plentiful at 8 am. National Park Service may have installed meters, as threatened, so read the meters carefully to see if parking is free. Closest Metro is Smithsonian.

You might want to bring both short and long camera lenses. Also, it is 80° and humid inside the butterfly exhibit. They will be in the museum for about a half hour before we enter that room, but you might want to bring a bag to prevent condensation on your camera before or after.

Register here.

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