Monday, October 19, 2009

I went to the Franklin Park Zoo.

First off, this song is dedicated to everyone who I hope saw the same cold white stuff I did yesterday:

I went to the Zoo! Then I went home and wrote a picture-heavy post about it.

Naturally, I did a lot of sketching at the Zoo. I think this was maybe the second time I've ever been to Franklin Park and maybe the fourth or fifth zoo I've ever been to. (We could argue all day about what constitutes a zoo, but I'm counting traditional "animals from all over the world here for you to learn about" zoo: the maybe two times I've been to FPZ, the one time I've been to Roger Williams Park Zoo, and a zoo I randomly visited while randomly in Indiana.) The thing I have to point out is this:

NOBODY noticed me drawing.

That was actually pretty disconcerting after a while.

(I did meet one nice lady to whom I gave my postcard because You Never Know. And there was one more typical guy who asked, "What're ya gonna do with those drawings?" I didn't know how to answer that one, but at least it was original.)

My aunt and I were the only adults visiting the zoo without being accompanied by a herd of small children, which helps explain things. It's funny how all the people at FPZ were either parents or children under the age of, say, seven (maybe. See, I lack whatever intuition normal women have that allows them to judge a child's age at a glance.) Point is, it made me feel a little sad that there weren't many older children or younger adults. It's not like there's an age where humans outgrow seeing live animals.

Is there?

Photography at the zoo tends to be more socially acceptable but is, as you can see, a dicey proposition. If I knew how to build a newfangled high tech camera, I'd add a feature where you could tell it to focus on the leopard or the Kea, not the fence behind which the leopard or the Kea lives. Duh.

That said, I can't tell you how happy I was to see these guys. I actually didn't even know about Ground Hornbills until I read Tetrapod Zoology's excellent article about them (this is the older, somewhat more evocative version). I wish I could print out copies and hand them out in front of this exhibit to get people to linger her a bit longer instead of rushing to the next Obligatory Big Famous Mammal; they really are fascinating in action. This guy played with a patch of grass for a good twenty minutes.

The Franklin Park Zoo, overall, is awesome for those of you wanting to be a mammal staring at dinosaurs. They do have the aforementioned Obligatory Big Famous Mammals (Lions and Tigers and Zebras and Giraffes and Gorillas and so on - not knocking them, it's just that they're so popular.) However, they have a stunning variety of birds. They have a fantastic aviary and a walk-through tropical forest which is worth the price of admission in itself. And it's open nearly all the year, which is fascinating to me.

I may have to revisit the Ostriches when it snows, see how they cope with it.

And here are my favorites among the many sketches I drew at the Zoo. Click these thumbnails to see the normal sized drawings:

Franklin Park Zoo - Camel Couple Franklin Park Zoo - Christopher's Exciting Daily Agenda, Part One Franklin Park Zoo - Christopher's Exciting Daily Agenda, Part Two Franklin Park Zoo - Boa and Skink Franklin Park Zoo - Andean Condor Franklin Park Zoo - Emu and gesture of an Antelope Franklin Park Zoo - Ground Hornbills!


You may have heard of this Design a "Simpsons" Character contest. If not, here is a brief explanation with a perfect accompanying image. This makes me actually feel a little sad, because I would have be ALL OVER THIS CONTEST - in High School.
But now? Well, now I'm just, "m'eh."


Zach said...



Still no cold white stuff up here, which is wierd and creepy and...actually annoying because I had the studded tires put on to avoid the mad rush once the snow DID start falling.

Now my studs are just grinding themselves down on dry pavement.

Jef Taylor said...

I love that you sketch the animals, and I love that you are more interested in the birds than the mammals! I don't have any pictures of the ostriches in the snow, but I do have some of the emus:
Also my "daily" project that is more like monthly if I'm lucky:

Thanks for posting this, it was fun!