Monday, 14 March 2011

London Zoo & Kew Gardens photos

For the Macmillan Competition, I'm going to be illustrating an Indian Folk tale about a rabbit who cleverly deceives a hungry lion.

Two weeks ago I visited London Zoo, but it was a really cold and rainy day and Lucifer the lion did not seem in the best of moods. He was the first Asiatic Lion at London Zoo and when he arrived he had an identification number(some sort of number) of 666, hence the name.
They introduced a Lioness and now they have a daughter, I think the daughter is called Ruby. I'm assuming the lion that seems to be very interested in the duck is the daughter, and the lion walking away is the mother.

Later on in the day, the Lioness decided it was time to kick Lucifer out his den, though this picture doesn't fully show what happened. Both mother and daughter just walked over to the den and tried to make space for themselves inside, shoving Lucifer in the process and just generally disturbing his peace.
 Mother and daughter then walked off with Lucifer just looking rather confused (probably not, but that's what his face says to me)
They'd walked off because it was tea time, this made me happy because it meant I could finally get some photos of Lucifer. No Lion can say no to food even if the weather is miserable.

I managed to visit all the areas of the zoo apart from the aquarium.

Last Tuesday I went to Kew Gardens, it was really good. I never liked going to Kew Gardens when I was younger, I think it may have been due to the long tube ride, it takes under an hour and a half to get there by just taking the District Line. I like to think that as you get older you tend to appreciate things more because when I walked into the Palm House I felt a strange sense of happiness, mixed in with nostalgia, or maybe it was to do with the oxygen levels.
Anyway back to the reason for going to Kew Gardens, I needed to find examples of plants and trees you'd find in an Indian jungle/forest (or in that sort of climate). I found a few and tried to take photos of the stem/bark, roots, leave and flowers.
 Here are a few photos:

I'm thinking about using the tree below as the basis for the big tree the animals gather under for their talk with the Lion. It's called a Peepul/Peepal/Pipal Tree and it's considered a sacred fig tree by Hindus and Bhuddist.

Below is the curry leaf tree, we have a small plant version of this in our porch, my mum is a keen gardener.

Some photos taken from the balcony in the Palm House

Big surprise of the day:

A roaming turkey made me jump too.

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