A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sketching at the Zoo

With the weather warming up (70*) we decided it was time to get out of the house again.  So we went to the zoo to sketch some animals.

It was a good day for it; the volunteers were out all over!  We got to chat with this gentleman about the box turtle.

And two ladies with owls.  This one is a burrowing owl.

Then we hung out with the noisy flamingos for a while.

It took a little while to get into the groove of sketching, and I think next time we'll haul our supplies differently, but the kids were good sports about it.

My poor flamingo looks like he's suffering from microcephaly.

The nice thing about having a membership is not feeling like you have to see every single exhibit when you visit.

We wandered through the red panda forest, and then sat and sketched turtles & fish.

Getting close up to catch all the details.

There were no patients in the windows over at the veterinary hospital, but they had a slideshow of animal x-rays playing that was interesting.  We were actually there the day before the tiger was killed.

This giraffe was nibbling on the fence post.  Reminds me of the bunny Annaliese had that used to gnaw the dresser next to it's cage.

On the far side of the giraffe enclosure live some giant tortoises.  The little guy here is about the size of a laundry basket.

I think our sketching trip went well.  We didn't try to draw every single thing, but we drew a variety of animals, and I think it helped the kids form a baseline that we can build upon in the future.

I just adore this boy.

We liked the new fox exhibit.  It was about this point where one of Katie's ponytail holders broke, so she is sporting quite the interesting 'do in the rest of the pictures.  Note to self:  Throw a few of those in the purse.

So we're hanging out, observing the zebras, when Jack says, "Hey mom, look!  A squirrel!"  It made me laugh.  Here we are, with all sorts of exotic wild animals, and he's more interested in the squirrel near the trash can.

Katie got really into drawing the zebra.

I am glad I brought her some paper.  The older kids have sketch pads, so they brought those.  I tossed a pad of unlined writing paper in for Katie, and she drew quite a bit.

The snow leopard was beautiful.  Probably a bit warm with that thick, plush fur, since it got up to 75* that day.

After lunch, we went to the reptile house, since Katie wanted to see the frogs.

Some of them are so shiny, they look almost plastic, until they hop.

More turtles.  I think these guys were pond turtles.

After the reptile house, the kids played at the playground for a while to run off some energy before getting back in the van to go home.

I was impressed by the way the girls challenged themselves to go up the "rock wall" instead of taking the easier stairs.

She's cute even with crazy hair.  It was about this point when she took her shoe off to shake the bark out and mentioned that it was hurting her foot.  I investigated and discovered... her shoe is too small!  Silly me, I thought her feet only grew when Shriner's changed the foot on her prosthetic leg.  (Well, not really, but that's just how it's worked out up to this point.)  She's getting a whole new leg next month, so this will mean all new shoes.  Fortunately, she's into sizes that Hannah has gone through, so we should have several pairs that will work.  Hannah grows much slower, so I'm hoping her foot size stays the same on her new leg, since she just got all new shoes fairly recently.

Ready to go home.

And the results of our efforts?

They make me smile.

It's hard to see, since it's just light colored pencil, but this is the ultra rare purple reticulated giraffe.  (The kids were using all the browns.)

I drew the bird while the kids were on the playground.  I kept hearing something rustling in the bushes behind my bench and told myself it must be birds.

I underestimated how much Katie was going to get into this.

I thought she'd basically tag along and look at the animals.  She actually drew lots of pictures, and continued drawing in the car on the way home.

It was a really nice day, and I am looking forward to doing it again.  Next time maybe we'll pre-select just a couple animals to draw and do several sketches of those, really spending more time paying attention to details, instead of drawing what we think they look like.

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  1. You won in Seekerville Shecki! Debut Love Inspired Suspense author, Meghan Carver was our guest on Tuesday, sharing the spotlight with Punxsutawney Phil. Her post was, "Find Your Genre…The Groundhog Way." Shecki Grtlyblesd and Sherida Stewart are winners of Meghan's release, Under Duress.

    1. Thank you, Tina! My email address is grtlyblesd at aol dot com Can't wait to read it! :)

  2. What a wonderful day out.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. It was! The fresh air did me a world of good. I get a touch of SAD/cabin fever every winter, so spring is all the more welcome here.

  3. Headed over here from Field Trip Friday.
    We love our zoo, too. I think it is cool that they have a vet window you can see in. Looks like you all found a lovely day for the zoo and had some great sketches. I love seeing the way the children see animals. So interesting and fun. - Lori

    1. It's a small zoo, but it's local. :) Better to get acquainted with the animals we have close to us than see a wider variety less than half as often. Although, now I'm pining to go back and see the Lodi zoo. We haven't been there in ages.

  4. What a fabulous idea! We almost always buy a membership to the local zoo but my boys have been getting bored with our visits-- I can't believe I never thought to try some art at the zoo. We'll definitely be trying this just as soon as our weather warms up!

    1. It was nice here for a few days and then it went back to rain. I shouldn't complain; I know we need it. But I'll be so glad when it's really spring here.

      I'm thinking maybe we'll check out some animal books at the library and see if we can choose one to learn more about and really focus on drawing next time.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks for hosting! Now that the weather is getting nicer, I hope that we can make more field trips.

  6. What a great way of integrating science and art! You are a STEAMist! :)

    What a way of making the same-ole boring zoo trip - fun and exciting.

    Love it!

    Doing it!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. We have a really little zoo here (I'm spoiled; we used to go to the one in San Francisco before moving here.) So I had to come up with something "different" to not end up bored with the same ol' same ol' and end up not getting much use out of our membership.

  7. We're headed off to the zoo soon. Great idea for making it a bit more educational that what we usually do (eat snacks and take pics). Thanks for linking up Shecki!

    1. Snacks are a must, lol. :) Thanks for hosting!