Animal Road

Is it my imagination or is this gorilla smiling at me? It sure does look like he is a very friendly chap. A big and powerful chap and aren’t I glad there is a thick pane of glass between us. But still, I love this beautiful face.

This is one of the many creatures that I encountered during my most recent visit to the Houston Zoo. I like to go early in the day before the crowds show up and before all of the school tours start. Of course I am glad that so many people like the zoo as much as me. I just prefer to commune with the animals when there is less of a crowd. Since I enjoy walking and I have a zoo membership that gets me in for free, this is a favorite spot for me to visit early on a week day.

On this particular day it was actually cold here in Houston. I even wore my heavy winter coat for the first time this year. Many of the birds were inside huddled up to the heaters provided for them. But I was also surprised at how many animals not only stayed outside, but also played in the water. Take this elephant for example:

She played in the water for at least an hour. You might be able to see the stick that she kept with her the whole time. She would go under water and then pop back up with the stick held tightly in her trunk. She was having a great time and the cold air did not appear to bother her in the slightest.

Also these flamingos did not seem to be deterred by the weather. If you have never looked at flamingos up close, they really do stand on one leg quite a bit. Who knew? And they also seem to stand very close to each other. A cozy friendly bunch of wading birds. I learned that a group of flamingos is called a “pat”. A pat of flamingos lives at the Houston Zoo. I am so glad that someone as old as myself can still learn new stuff all of the time. Of course as you can see the weather may have been cold that day, but the skies were blue and full of sunshine. Perfect for admiring the pink and orange hues of the flamingo feathers.

The last animal that I will write about today never lived at the Houston Zoo. Rather, this Siamese cat lived in my home and in my heart for 19 years. Her name was Vesta. This is a picture I took of her about 4 years ago when she was a spry 15 years old. This past November she became ill and did not bounce back as she had done before. I was with her and holding her when she was put down on November 19th. A part of her will live in my heart forever.

I am so grateful for all of the animals in my life.

Until next week.….

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