We visited the California Academy of Sciences this weekend. Of course the museum parking lot was already full 20 minutes after the museum opened. This just affirmed how much I hate parking in SF. We decided to look for parking and eat at our favorite place in that area, San Tung. If you go there, be sure to get the Dry Fried Chicken Wings. I had to get 2 orders this time (they are just that good!). I dropped my wife off to put us on the wait list and start ordering food. Needless to say, she was already half way through the meal before I could park and join her. After that and a short walk, we finally got into the museum.
The museum itself doesn't look so impressive on the outside. On the inside its a whole other story including a 3 story rain forest biosphere, multiple aquariums, and a green roof (a roof covered in plants). The rain forest is full of butterflies, birds, and plants. The butterflies were a great test for my Canon 70-200 f4L ISM lens. The top of the biosphere, the canopy, provides the most opportunities for great shots as there are plentiful flowers for the butterflies to feed from.
I was lucky to have so much sunlight today because even with an image stabilizing lens you still need a pretty fast shutter speed to shoot at 200mm. I'm sure on a cloudy day, these shots would have been blurry or full of noise.
The bottom of the biosphere is a huge salt water aquarium. At 2:30pm a diver goes in and talks to everyone about the fish there. Afterwards they throw food in so you can see the fish swarm. There are a lot of other underwater exhibits, but the darkness makes it hard to take any photos there.
Of all the amazing exhibits in the museum, my daughter's favorite was the little kids corner which only had some cheap toys and puzzles. To leave, we had to pull her out of there kicking and screaming. Oh well, I guess you have to be a bit older to appreciate a rain forest in an urban city.