28 August 2007


I didn't take many photos, but I have a few that turned out well. Here they are!
This is the Hôtel de Ville. I ate breakfast in the square, and it was a fun view.

I got a book so that I'll have something to do when I'm sitting in the metro or a park, and I started to read it in the Jardin de Luxembourg. There are a lot of flowers, and near where I was sitting there were some birds on the flowers. I knew that some birds were pollinators, but I never saw any in America!

This is the Palais de Luxembourg and more of the gardens.

I went on a tour of the Jardin des Plantes, which is kind of like a botanical garden along with gardens of medicinal plants, a garden of all the species of grass found in France, and things like that. There are also large museums (the kind used by researchers, not the kind most tourists like to look around in) and a zoo. France was home to the pioneers of a lot of branches of science, including paleontology and zoology. This is a picture of a fossilized cedar, which is now known to be 35 million years old. It was found at a time when the common belief was that the earth was 4,000 years old, so the fact that it was a huge old tree that was fossilized was perplexing to scientists.

Another interesting thing I learned (the tour was very interesting, it was all about the evolution of science and how it created the Jardin des Plantes) was about the zoo. When it was created, no one really knew what kind of habitats to put the wild animals in, or what to feed them. It was more of a weekend hobby than a real scientific venture first, and a lot of the animals died at the beginning-- partially because they were only fed when the scientists had free time.
At the time the zoo was created, some people believed that, if wild animals were given the means to be civilized, they would be. So they were given homes, clothing, and other things to give them the chance to chose a civilized life. They didn't. But in this picture, you can see one of the old log cabins built for some four-legged animals I couldn't recognize.

Tomorrow's agenda (hopefully) includes getting my suitcase...

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