A trip to Colorado Springs was in order yesterday, and while there I popped in at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to spend a little quality time with my sketchbook. Hadn't anticipated also spending quality time with 400 middle school students participating in Endangered Species Day.
Near as I could tell, this meant a sort of "science-fair-meets-field-trip" scenario in which students and their science-fair posters of information were stationed in front of animal exhibits throughout the zoo.
A nice idea... kids teaching kids... with their classmates receiving a stamp or sticker or some such indication that they had visited the various stations. But during what was probably the last (or second-to-last) week of school? Yeah. Mayhem. So I hid in what semi-quiet corners I could find until they all magically vanished back to school after lunch. Phew!
I don't find mayhem particularly conducive to drawing, but at least I did alright when I could commune with Aloiscious, "Call me Al," the King of Calm Within the Storm. You probably think you know what species he is, but I assure you that he was most emphatically identified by an adult woman as a Vietnamese Portabello Pig. Al certainly exhibits the enthusiasm of a mushroom, although I have it on good authority that he despises wet earth.
Some time later I got to dust off my tried-and-true cake-baking retort. This time the culprit was a somewhat senior-aged man who stood behind me and watched me drag pencil across paper for a while before asking, "What are you doing? Sketching?"
To which I naturally replied, "No. I am baking a cake."
To which he responded, "Oh," and then, "What?" while his wife chuckled quietly next to him.
I relented. (sigh)
"Yes, I am sketching."
"What, THAT?" queried Mr. Confused and Incredulous, as he pointed at the one and only collared lizard perched directly in front of me, striking the very pose Mr. C had just watched me put down on paper.
(Again sigh.) I refrained from saying, "No, I am drawing the elephant near the zoo entrance. I just thought I would sit in front of a lizard while I did so," but oooohhh... it was tempting.
Endangered Species Day? One can only hope.