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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Taking A Year To Sketch Sam The Eagle

I visited the San Diego Safari Park twice last year. Both times my wife and I sketched the lagoon.

The way these Shoebill Storks survey the world with self-important eyes reminds me of Sam the Eagle, from The Muppet Show. I wonder if the Shoebills see themselves as the leaders of the lagoon, and insist upon a certain level of conduct among the remaining avian population. 

They're called Shoebills because (Shock! Amazement!) their bills are shaped like shoes. Hence, their appearance of self-importance, just like Sam the Eagle. But then, people who view themselves as moral icons, and hand down their important views on life from their perches on their pedestals, often look as though they've lodged a foot firmly in their mouths.

Either that, or like Maxwell Smart, they work for CONTROL, and are still using those outdated Shoe Phones.

Lots of other birds enjoyed the lagoon this weekend, including egrets, coots, Nene geese, and a Black Crowned Night Heron. These young Whistler ducks practiced the buddy system. I thought them especially cute. Perhaps they'll make it in to a later sketch.

The island on the lagoon bore little resemblance to the way it looked a year ago, when I started the sketch. It was also strikingly different last Fall, when I continued it.

It felt good to finish my sketch, even if it took me a year to complete. Maybe next time I visit the San Diego Safari Park, I'll sketch the Whistlers. Either that, or maybe I'll finish the sketch I started of the Asian Elephants on last year's visit.

Dragon Dave

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