Saturday, November 23, 2013

Playing Around at the Zoo

Yet another excursion to the San Francisco Zoo! This time, I was invited to document the unveiling of the zoo's new Elinor Friend Playground. (Thanks to Abbie Tuller for the invite!)


Here's a roughly northward view, showing at least a bit of all three play areas.

The River Play Area is intended for toddlers. If this morning's testers were any indication, when you're in a river-themed area with otters and frogs and turtles, you're supposed to wriggle around on your tummy and pretend you're a fish.


Apparently there's a guy in the San Francisco rec and park department who has to officially try out every new playground slide before it can be opened for business. That must be an awful job.


The Polar Zone is intended for pre-schoolers, with lots of climbing and clambering opportunities. I gather the spring-mounted polar bear is extra bouncy.

And a parting look back at the Banyan Tree, which is meant for pre-teens and is really huge.

After the playground preview, I wandered around with zoo photographers extraordinare Marianne Hale and May Woon. This weekend, a lot of the animals were getting pumpkin-themed food treats. Enrichment!

This anteater is apparently in a special quarantine zone because he developed a bad habit of eating dirt. I know, right?


And of course, we all had to go look at the peccary pups some more!

And in closing, here's a rhino butt. You're very welcome.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Murdervember: Cock Robin Part 5

Who'll sing a psalm?
I, said the Thrush,
As he sat in the bush.
I'll sing a psalm.

Who'll toll the bell?
I, said the Bull,
Because I can pull.
I'll toll the bell.

All the birds of the air
Fell to sighing and sobbing,
When they heard the bell toll
For poor Cock Robin.

 Incidentally, these last three panels form a triptych, like so...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Murdervember: Cock Robin Part 4

Who'll be chief mourner?
I, said the Dove,
For I mourn for my love.
I'll be chief mourner.

Who'll carry the coffin?
I, said the Kite.
If it's not through the night,
I'll carry the coffin.

Who'll bear the pall?
We, said the Wrens,
Both the cock and the hen.
We'll bear the pall.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Murdervember: Cock Robin Part 3

Who'll be the parson?
I, said the Rook.
With my little book,
I'll be the parson.

Who'll be the clerk?
I, said the Lark.
Though it be in the dark,
I'll be the clerk.

Who'll carry the link?
I, said the Linnet,
I'll fetch it in a minute.
I'll carry the link.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Murdervember: Cock Robin Part 2

Who caught his blood?
I, said the Fish.
With my little dish,
I caught his blood.

Who'll make his shroud?
I, said the Beetle.
With my thread and needle,
I'll make his shroud.

Who'll dig his grave?
I, said the Owl.
With my pick and shovel,
I'll dig his grave.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Back to the San Francisco Zoo to check out the new litter of baby peccaries! I'll consider these sketches to be this weekend's quota of "inkvember" illustrations.

Yep, the baby komodo is getting incrementally larger.

We peeked at the peccary piglets. So cute!

Bears, sea lions, and a pretty bad eagle.

As far as koalas go, this is a pulse-pounding action scene.

This is the first time we've actually seen the front end of the cassowary, so we made the most of it.

Homo sapiens and their young at feeding time.

I like Big Bugs and I cannot lie!

The lemurs were very active today, which made them pretty tough to draw.

Marabou storks. I spent ages drawing that darned nest.

I tried to get some drawings of the habitats this time around. Spot the gorilla!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Murdervember: Cock Robin Part 1

I missed Inktober, and we've a week into Inkvember already, but I just introduced my lovely wife Julie to the creepy children's rhyme The Death and Burial of Cock Robin and found some inspiration for a series of pen-and-ink doodles. So let's retroactively jump into the daily madness!

Who killed Cock Robin?
I, said the Sparrow.
With my bow and arrow,
I killed Cock Robin.

Who saw him die?
I, said the Fly.
With my little eye,
I saw him die.