Biosphere 2

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Last month, Chris and I went flew in to Tucson, Arizona to shoot my cousin’s family portraits.  Landing early Friday afternoon before my cousin and his wife had gotten off work, we tried to go to Kartchner Caverns to explore and see cool caves.  Unfortunately, I forgot to make advance reservations for tickets, and they were sold out.  Not surprisingly, I might add, because it was the same weekend as the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil showcase.

Who knew that caves filled with minerals would be of interest on the VERY weekend a Mineral showcase is going on.

So instead, we dropped our stuff into the small car we had rented, and set off on an adventure to Biosphere 2.

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This is Biosphere 2.  (A regular Star Wars droid, eh?)  A massive ecological experiment, it originally housed highly publicized experiments with dreams of creating a sealed, self-sustaining environment that could be used in outer space.  Although the experiments ultimately were deemed “failures,” they provided invaluable information.  Today, Biosphere 2 is owned and operated by the University of Arizona, who gives regular tours of the facilities.

And that’s where we started.

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We made it there just in time for the last tour of the day.

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(We made it!  We thought we wouldn’t.)

Beautiful grounds and sculptures dotted the landscape.

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We explored for a bit before the tour began.

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Succulents are everywhere!

The tour began at 4:15 PM, and there were five other people on the tour with us, one of whom was a 9 -month-old baby.

It was pretty awesome inside.  There was a rainforest, a desert, an ocean . . . All surrounded by glass:

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We had a grand old time!  Learned a lot, explored a lot!

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We played with the various plant-life that fell on us.  Like this pollen ball here.  This was the first photo, as well.

We had so much fun that our tour guide took us from a tour that was projected to end at 5:30 PM to a tour that ended near 7:00 PM.  Egads.  I love these kinds of places, but we were starting to wonder if we weren’t going to be shut up in there, as well!

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When we finally got out, the sun was setting.

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Correction: The sun had set.

And as the last people on site, it was time to capture a couple more shots:

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It had been an exhilarating day.  We were pooped.  Until next time, Biosphere 2!

// All photos above were taken on 35mm film (Portra 400) with my Canon AE-1 in Arizona on February 12, 2016.

 

 

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