Last year, I was at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World for “Stitch Day,” which I didn’t even know was a thing before that day.
Six years before that, I was in Washington, D.C. outside the Supreme Court when the Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor.
Today, being 2020 and a pandemic and all, I went to the Pueblo Zoo—one and half miles from my house. I’d been there a couple times, but not recently, and I wanted to support them by buying a membership. So I took advantage of the fact that I’m currently working through The Artist’s Way and called my trip to the zoo an artist’s date. And really it was, since I took many photos and just absorbed my surroundings. Not too much, though, since masks are mandatory (and I would have worn one anyway). I did represent a little too, even though I hadn’t realized the significance of the date when I chose my shirt.
I opened with the Disney reference because I thought a lot today about the trip we have booked to Orlando in November. (See here for a Cast Member’s thoughts.) The Pueblo weather was cooperative this morning and didn’t reach above 80 while I was out, but the mask was still hot. It also meant I didn’t drink enough, despite wearing a Camelbak, because I had to figure out how to get the valve behind the mask to my mouth. I am strongly committed to wearing the mask (whether or not it’s compulsory) so these are challenges to be addressed. I think that one key will be to take breaks in order to stay cool and hydrate.
The Zoo wasn’t particularly crowded, which helped a lot with distancing. It also just opened last week, so I think the animals were less inhibited than usual.
There was a “defined path,” but it was not consistently signed throughout the zoo. It also didn’t include one of my favorite areas—the old bear pits and the WPA/CCC-constructed World of Color building (which, like all indoor spaces, was closed today). I detoured to that area anyway.
The Pueblo turtle is different, but it always reminds me of the turtle in this photo at Fort Boonesborough State Park in Kentucky.
I don’t know whether the turtle is still there (the photo is more than 50 years old, after all), or whether it was simply part of the playground or a reference to Daniel Boone’s Shawnee name, Sheltowee, which meant Big Turtle.
Most of my other favorite pictures from today were birds, many of whom seemed keen to interact.
And the llamas and alpacas, who did not.
And, of course, the tortoise.