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Helen Betts | all galleries >> Rediscovering Home >> Washington Rediscovered: Year 2 >> ‘Roadside Attractions’ at the US Botanic Garden > The Blue Whale, Catoosa, Oklahoma
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The Blue Whale, Catoosa, Oklahoma

We visited the US Botanic Garden’s annual “Season’s Greenings” display titled “Roadside Attractions” featuring plant-based recreations of iconic sights from across the United States, with G gauge model trains chugging around, below, through and above the displays.

This giant blue whale was hand-made by Hugh Davis as a gift to his wife Zelta, who adored blue whales. It measures 20 feet tall and 80 feet long and features a ladder leading up to a secret compartment in its head. The pond surrounding the whale quickly became popular among locals for swimming and picnicking. Davis expanded the attraction to include a reptile exhibit and trading post, but the park closed when he and his wife were no longer able to maintain it. Eventually the park fell into disrepair, but a community group raised money to restore it and maintains it to this day. The site remains a popular destination for picnicking and enjoying the massive blue whale.

Building materials: sea grape leaves, sugar pine cone scales, gourd slices, sala leaves, acorn caps, willow

Mile marker, The Black Snake in Sioux Country, 2016, posted earlier:

Nikon D810 ,Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
1/125s f/7.1 at 35.0mm iso5000 full exif

other sizes: small medium original auto
Julie Oldfield14-Dec-2017 01:26
Fantastic shot! V
Ton T.10-Dec-2017 15:37
Superb colors Helen! Impressive Blue Whale V
Pieter Bos09-Dec-2017 22:17
Very well captured! Great job in low light. ~V
globalgadabout09-Dec-2017 16:54
extraordinary image, and the original sounds like a classic 'labour of love'...
Tom Munson09-Dec-2017 16:29
This is cool.
Patrick Goossens09-Dec-2017 15:55
Very well done and taken with that bleu locomotive entering the whale
Jeff Real09-Dec-2017 15:01
This is great and makes me remember seeing the original
Nick Paoni09-Dec-2017 14:50
A true gift of devotion. The miniature is so neat so the original must knock your socks off.
Jim Coffman09-Dec-2017 13:53
That is so cool! I would love to see the original!
Jola Dziubinska09-Dec-2017 13:41
Lovely Blue Whale. V.