Yesterday was awesome. Went to the zoo with friends to sketch, got the behind the scenes tour again, so I got to pet the lame ocelot (very friendly, missing part of front foot, so can’t be bred or introduced to other ocelots–she can’t defend herself–but loves humans to death.) Getting licked by an ocelot is possibly the best thing ever. Plus, while the ocelot is a serious show-stopper–her purr is this yowly growly noise that Ben would only make if someone was about to die–they also had baby Gila monsters, and those were also adorable in a snappy poisonous kinda way.
It’s really funny to see zoo animals when the zookeepers are there. Since they rarely react to people, you just assume they’re oblivious to whatever goes on beyond the glass. Not so…have somebody they recognize walk by, and suddenly they’re alert and paying attention. (Not unlike me at a con, for that matter…) The roadrunner, Carmine, is a particular example…he has a serious vendetta against the friend who was showing us around, and he would follow her along the length of the cage, eyes fixed on her as she walked out of site, just waiting for her to get into beaking distance. (Apparently roadrunners are bastards.)
We also spent some time in the aviary–it’s hard to sketch there, the birds move too fast, which is why my zoo sketchbooks tend to start with scrawled lines that might be the backs of quail or bobcats, and end with pictures of turtles and sleeping lizards–which was very Zen. There was a grey-headed kingfisher that stared at me for awhile which made me very happy. And the golden-crowned manakin was a teeny tiny black bird with a shocking yellow head and a voice completely out of scale to its size.
It was when the massive Victoria Crowned Pigeon strolled into view along the walkway that Otter threw her hands in the air and said "Is everything in the jungle designed by Dr. Suess!?"
Came home, ran errands, and then I spent much of the evening curled up on the couch playing Zelda: Twilight Princess, with Gir next to me, Ben in my lap, and Angus behind my head. Which was an excellent end to a pretty awesome day.