Sunday, May 5, 2013

Chuckwalla at the Woodland Park Zoo

Yesterday I headed out with the Seattle Sketchers Meetup group to the Woodland Park Zoo. As I was making my way there on a gorgeous Saturday (one of the first Seattle has enjoyed in quite a while), I had visions of pulling out my skecthbook on a comfy bench in the shade, somewhere with an unobstructed view of a majestic animal that wasn't moving around too much. Imagine my surprise when I showed up around 1:00 and discovered that the place was insanely crowded and that any spot where one might get a decent view of an elephant or a gorilla was completely mobbed by children and their parents who were all jostling for a look. This led to me spending a good part of my visit wandering around in circles looking for something to draw, a quest that ended in the reptile house where I happened upon a chuckwalla that was kind enough to strike a dramatic pose while I sketched.

The more observant among you may notice that this creature is looking a little puffy, but I assure you this is how it really was. At the time, I thought this was because it had just eaten some sort of mid-sized rodent (I often looked this way after meals when I lived in New Orleans), but I was later told that the chuckwalla can puff itself up to ridiculous proportions as a way to scare off predators. I hope this doesn't mean that I did anything to offend it. I think it's much more likely that all of the children blatantly ignoring the "do not tap on glass" sign were to blame for its agitated state.

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