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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Living things.
Fellow Earth inhabitants.
It was with great pleasure that I took myself to the London Zoo for several hours today (bookended with flat hunting).
One thing in particular I miss about Australia is that with the exception of pigeons, there doesn't appear to be much life in London.
I have seen some squirrels - I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
At the zoo I was lucky enough to see two of my favourite creatures that I had never seen before: giant anteaters and porcupines.
Both were sleeping but it was nice to see them up close.
The best moment of the day was spending some time very near a giraffe.
The giraffe is a marvel - vast animals that stroll about with such grace.
The giraffe enclosure is designed in such a way that you can see it wandering around it's paddock, and then, should it feel like heading inside, you can walk around the back and see it very close up in it's sleeping quarters.
I had never had the experience of watching a giraffe stroll through a doorway but I am now pleased to say I have.
All animation people will know of Bill Peet (there's a link to his work - even if your not an animation person you will no doubt recognise his illustrations).
He drew a giraffe in the book Huberts Hair Raising Adventure, and while it's a terrific character, it has none of the grace and calm and beauty of a proper giraffe.
I spend many minutes watching them.
Humans have looked to the stars wondering if there's any life out there.
I think it's very comforting to know just how much life is here with us, on the very same planet.

Other things.

The fish and chips were indeed hibernating.

This is an American sidewinder.
It entertained me greatly that to create a more American environment for this reptile it was important to include a downed bottle of Bud and a discarded packet of Maryleboroughs.

Who do you think first tried this?
Does it still go on behind the scenes?

This is entirely non zoo related.
It's a small disaster area on the road I am living.
It's been there for months.
I have no idea what it is or why it's there.
It's begging to have a toddler fall in.


Anonymous said...

You looking for a place in Primrose Hill then?

Elliot Cowan said...

Ah no - a little out of my budget at the moment.
Unless you know of a place...

limbolo said...

Your paean on the noble giraffe moves me.
Did you know that - until recently, when an elephant took out one of the keepers - the only animal to have killed anyone at London Zoo was a giraffe.

Elliot Cowan said...

Well they're pretty big - you don't want to get too close I shouldn't think.

I didn't see any elephants there, strangely...

Vernetta said...

Tell the zoo they forgot the Del Taco bags and wrappers for the little snakey...

It's really funny and a bit sad at the same time...

Patricia said...

What do you mean there is little life in London? What about the crowds? And the traffic? And the police sirens? The planes? The rats, the squirrels, the pigeons, the wasps? Eh?

Elliot Cowan said...

Life as in living things!
The things that live alongside humans - not against us.

Anonymous said...

All animals are precious! We could stand to learn a lot from them, they don't get as carried away as us humans, lol.

Patricia said...

The gardens, the birds, the earthworms? Cats, dogs? Children? People of every description? We may not have rhynoceros, elephants or giraffes, butwe have lots of everything else in London!

Elliot Cowan said...

Well maybe out in Ealing, and certainly when you go to the park, but I sure don't see a lot of living things around here beyond surly humans...

Boris Hiestand said...

pigeons, buahh- feathered rats I say.
I love your drawing- you could be in my gay Disney musical.

Elliot Cowan said...

I full intend to be.

Matt Jones said...

did the giraffe LICK the said unfortunate to death?!

Wonderful post cobber, the image at top is LURVELY!

Elliot Cowan said...

KICK rather than lick, I imagine...

And thanks.
It's sentimental but joyful, I think.

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