Saturday, June 16, 2012

With Love to Dad

On this Father's Day, I'm taking you to Santa Barbara's Natural History Museum, to view fathers on outings with their children. With its Spanish architecture and tile roofs, the museum is housed in a park-like setting that encompasses the rocky watercourse of Mission Creek and its surrounding oak trees.


The Natural History Museum is a perfect place to spend an enlightening time with your child. Beginning with its entrance, where you'll be greeted by the life-sized skeleton of a blue whale. You'll proceed through tiled hallways to twelve exhibition rooms with displays of regional birds, mammals, insects and marine life, as well as artifacts from the museum's vast collection of Native American and antique art.

This day, I enjoyed watching the different moods of fathers with their kids, from playful, to pensive, to protective. They all enacted their fatherly roles with warmth and caring, and made me well aware of the memories they were fostering.

I watched them observe the animated dinosaur, with its flashing teeth and ground-rumbling roar. I saw them wander past docents who displayed live birds: fine-feathered kestrels from the falcon family that were perched on poles. From there, the fathers took their children to one of my favorite exhibitions:

the biennial Butterflies Alive exhibit. Here, live butterflies are enclosed inside a large netted bungalow with a lush interior of flowing fountains and floral gardens. It is always an enchanting scene.


Dear Fathers, thank you, and please take a bow!

**My next post is just days away, on the 20th. I hope to see you then. Sincerely,    ~   Anitra


  1. Hi Anitra:

    I enjoyed seeing your pictures of fathers in action as well as you as a mighty butterfly. If it doesn't rain in my area, I usually go to a neighborhood Greek fest held at a nearby Greek Orthodox Church with my dad and family. It's always a hectic yet fun time.

    I love my dad a lot because he is very patient and understanding. He also gave me a very dry sense of humor which causes consternation with many of my friends. He's also is a good grandfather as well.

    I hope you're having a good warm spring though it feels like summer. I finally made it to a farmers market on Friday in neighboring Schaumburg. That village always has a nice one every year. Stay well and thanks for showing us the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.

    Marie L.

    1. Marie,

      Lovely to hear from you. So glad you like the photos. I enjoyed receiving the description of your dad and what you usually do on Father's Day. It is obvious that you are both very fortunate to have each other. Patience and understanding are so valuable for a child, and humor is a wonderful seasoning. My father too had a unique sense of humor that I treasure.

      It's true that everyone doesn't respond equally to humor. It's so rewarding when it can be shared.

      Santa Barbara is getting its annual June Gloom, which means fog most every morning. Though this year it's been burning off most days by late afternoon. It sounds like it's a bit of a stretch for you to make it to your farmer's market. So glad you took the extra steps.

      Again, Marie, it's a pleasure to receive your lovely words. Sincerely, ~ Anitra

  2. What a great tour of the Santa Barbara Museum. Next time I am that way I will make a point of visiting their collections.
    The true delight is the Dads and their kids. It's been a long time since I took my kid to a museum, it was once our favorite place to go. You blog brings back good memories.


    1. Buckaroo, hello,

      So nice to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the kids with their dads :) And to think that the museum used to be a favorite for you and your child. Thanks for letting me know that it brought back memories.

      Sending my good wishes your way, ~ Anitra

  3. Hello Aneet-

    As usual, another beautiful set of photos. The one and only time I've been to Santa Barbara, which was back in 1993, I went to the Natural History museum and it was such a beautiful setting.

    That's such a fun and whimsical shot of you posing in the butterfly cutout. =)

    I'm not a dad, and I doubt if I will ever be one, but I am a very proud uncle and godfather of a wonderful two and a half year old nephew, and I'm happy with it being like that. Happy Father's day to all the great dads, and father figures out there.



    1. Hello Joseph,

      It's always a treat to hear from you. So glad you like the photos. I think it's amazing that the only time you visited SB, that you went to the NH Museum! I think that's quite a coincidence -- especially since it's not our most popular tourist location.

      Glad you like my photo. Whimsical is a perfect description.

      I'm pleased you pointed out the fact that it's not just true fathers who deserve acknowledgement on this day, but father figures too are so meaningful in our lives -- and sometimes, life savers as well.

      Wishing you kind and fulfilling days. Sincerely, ~ Aneet

  4. Hi Aneet
    Today is indeed a very special day for us father's! Thank you for these beautiful photos.
    I love butterflies,Ive never seen a Museum that has a Butterfly exhibit.some day I will
    visit this wonderful place.I was extremely fortunate to spend the day with my Dad,and sons.also my 5 year old nephew who is now a son to me since his dad went to heaven.
    always enjoy seeing your take on life thru your Lense,Love the Pic of you! take care

  5. Roger,

    Lovely to hear from you! I still remember your comment from last Father's Day and the lovely outing your had then. And now, this year, you, your father and your sons, including the poignant new development of your nephew as a son, have shared the day together. You obviously have a very rare and special family bond. It's inspiring to know you.

    As far as the butterfly exhibit is concerned, it's only held every-other-year. Usually from about May through August. If you go, I would recommend catching it in the first few months when it's the freshest.

    Again, Roger, thank you so much for sharing with us. Sending you and your family my warm regards, ~ Anitra

    1. Jonathan ChesterJune 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

      Hi Aneet,

      Now that's what I call a beautiful butterfly!

      A happy Father's Day to all who are dads on your blog. Here in NY, we had some real, beautiful weather for Father's Day weekend. Even though fatherhood wasn't in the cards for me, being the favorite uncle was. My niece Elizabeth (8 yrs) and my nephew Ethan (6 yrs) spent the afternoon watching me play in a league game as we got shellacked by a team of grandmothers.

      By the way, I saw that Price showcase with Erin!She was so cute. Wow, she looked like a mini version of you! I definitely saw the resemblance.That St Bernard pup she was holding brought back memories because at that time,my family had a St Bernard also. The paws were bigger than my head.

      Best always.....


  6. Hello Dear Jonathan,

    Even though I had a captive butterfly audience, the shot at the top took a lot of doing. That butterfly looks completely different with its wings open. It's hard to imagine, but the top of its wings are mostly black. Though they're slightly camouflaged, you can find two of them with their wings open in the fifth photo down.

    I'm so glad to hear that you too are a positive role model for the youngsters in your family. Those bows are meant for you as well. Sorry to hear that your team got shellacked by grandmothers. What's happened to your lucky number eight?

    Thanks for your sweet comments on Erin's TPIR episode. And a St Bernard? Wow -- that's a whole lot of animal to take care of.

    Hope that cool breezes and rewarding moments are heading your way Jonathan. Sincerely, ~ Aneet

    1. Jonathan ChesterJune 19, 2012 at 6:24 AM


      I actually still wear #8. It's been bringing me nothing but success in the batters box as I'm hitting over .400 with that number. The players on my team have been use to me wearing #24 all these years. They asked me why I switched to #8 and I told them that it's for a wonderful person.


    2. Aww Jonathan,

      That warms my heart and makes me smile. I'm so glad your doing well :)

      Thanks so much for sharing, ~ Aneet

  7. Aneet,

    Your pictures make me long for a road trip to Santa Barbara. I know...LA isn't that far away...and I can't make any excuses for why it's been years and years since I've visited. Someday soon we have inspired me!

    Best wishes,

  8. Welcome Tom!

    Now and then, we all need to get away. It gives us new vantage points. Santa Barbara has one problem (well, more than one, certainly, but...) If you visit on an overcast day, which you will be more likely to find in June, and off and on during the summer, you won't really see SB (though often, it clears by late afternoon. When it's clear, and you can see the mountains and the ocean (and if you're really lucky, the Islands,) you will truly see the city. Otherwise, you will miss two-thirds of its depth and perspective.

    If you plan to come -- be sure and check the weather forecast.

    Sending my best wishes to you and Mary, ~ Aneet

  9. Hello Anitra,

    I enjoyed these pictures. Fathers are special, I didn't know just how much until mine passed away in 2009. I'm sure you cherish very fond memories of your dad! Anyway, I do hope you are doing well! God bless, Sergio

  10. Hello Sergio,

    I'm so glad to hear from you again. Though I'm sorry to hear that you lost your father in 2009. It is surprising to see that even though a parent is gone our relationship with them continues -- often growing with awareness and enlightenment.

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Sending my good wishes your way. Sincerely, ~ Anitra