Flowering cactus and Mars probes

Early May 2009 and I headed over to JPL:

This last weekend was the yearly open house at JPL, so I decided to head to Pasadena to take in a little NASA action. It is also the time of year when the cacti are blooming at Huntington Gardens, so I figured I could make it an efficient trip up the highway and see both. first thing in the morning I found JPL on google maps and headed on up. The parking was packed and so was JPL. There were thousands of people there lining up to see the sites. The first hing I did when I got there was to get into a line to see a demonstration of the precision formation flying they will be needing to create a telescope that can see details on an earthlike planet around another star. To do this they either need a huge mirror, or a whole buch of smaller ones all moving in concert. You can guess which one they decided to do. Anyhow, an hour later I was finally through the line and saw the satellites. This was nice, but I was already sick and tired of lineups. For the rest of my day at JPL I avoided ineups as much as possible, which meant I probably missed lots of cool stuff. Anyway, I got to see Mars rovers and proposed rover types and information on various telescopes and after this I was tired of the crowds so I headed on out to Huntington Gardens. It was a gorgeous day there and I brought a book to read along with my camera so I had a relaxing afternoon taking pictures and sitting among the trees reading. The cactus flowers were spectacular so that is what most of these pictures are of.

Without further ado, the gallery:


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