Saturday, January 19, 2008

Coyote Point Museum

When going down the Peninsula, Coyote Point Museum is always a good afternoon hangout. No crowds, eucalyptus tree groves, view on the bay and a nature discovery museum worth the drive.

Only 15 miles south of San Francisco, Coyote Point Museum is a tribute to the surrounding fauna and flora, including a big aviary and lots of hands-on exhibits. Past the entrance hall where kids can play construction or magnetic games, are two rooms devoted to sustainable agriculture and farming. Take a right and you follow a long window-paned wall with fun holes in the wall to be filled with colored-water bottles. Children of all ages just love to build color schemes with the plastic bottles. If you keep on running, you get into the honey bee exhibit, a display showing beee tunnels going to the outside, a honey comb sandwiched in plexyglass and a case displaying all the the bee by-products: liquid honey, honey combs, wax, royal jelly and other similar items.

It's almost like the Randall Museum but it gets better because it's the introduction to a four-level introduction to the ecosystem of California. Trees hollowed out by fires, crops needed to make a burger, gophers crawling underground, skunks spraying a window case, flying bats, solitary tarantulas and so forth.
For me however, the best of Coyote Point Museum lies outside. Past the entrance doors you enter the animal observation area with one of the best opportunities you'll ever have to watch a badger up close. And it's not even just the badger. There are snakes, frogs, toads, newts, coyotes, a mountain lion, a skunk, a lazy porcupine and if you gaze at the sky through the clear windows, you might cross the thoughts of a bald eagle. Enter the aviary and to your left underneath the trees, across the waterfall is a blue heron licking its feathers. It's quite magical really. My girls loved looking for the coyote and finding it sleeping on top of the stairs of its habitat.

Well, the weather outside was cold so we got back outside and did some more construction games. On the way back to the car, we couldn't help notice the planes flying right above our heads. SFO is five landing (or take off) minutes away. This may be a secluded spot on the Bay, but it is still in an urban area. You just can't have Bend's High Desert Museum combined with the charms of a big metropolitan area.

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