Monday, July 23, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Birds, Oh My!

Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;

Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’

Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;

Man got to tell himself he understand.

                        --Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

I can’t help it.  I’m just a big ol’ kid when it comes to animals and zoos.  There’s no better way to spend a drizzly, summer Sunday afternoon than a trip to a zoo.  And that’s what ELM and I did.  We found The Texas Zoo in Victoria.  It is a small zoo, but very, very clean and the animals are in excellent condition.  It’s a lovely little park with lots of friendly, shaded viewing sites and benches—perfect for seniors and small children alike.  The day we went, there were only a few people out in the misty rain, so we had the opportunity to observe the animals and I got to take pictures unhindered. I'm no Deby Dixon--I'm just an old woman with a camera.  But I had a great time and got some fun shots for the scrap book. The admission price was a walloping four dollars.  

  These two beautiful Bengal tigers and a pair of lionesses were the major "exotic" exhibits. I'm forever in awe of the big cats with their magnificient beauty,

exuding their formiddable power even in repose.

If you want to play ball with this lady, you might want to bring your "A" game.

Then there were the baboons.

The Thinker...

The old married couple.  She groomed him with such tenderness.

Another exotic, the shy coatimundi...

                                                                    Sleeping Badger

The Petting Zoo

The monkeys

I could watch the otter for hours.  This one looked a bit lonely.  I hope they get him/her a playmate soon.

 There is a portion of the aviary that we were able to walk into and actually interact with the birds--budgies, conures, ducks, red ibis, and even a spoonbill.

Steve (below) is a real show-stealer.  He loves to chew shoes and is magnetized by anything shiny.  He's the greeter at the Interactive Aviary.

More birds next post.  Thank you for visiting. Go have a wonderful day!

Love, Bupu

Friday, June 29, 2012

Sunrise Sail

One advantage to insomnia is being awake when the rest of the world is quiet. Sunday morning I went walking by the water before sunrise.  The day promised to be far too beautiful to squander.

 I hurried home and woke poor ELM from his only opportunity to “sleep in” for over a week.  Before he was awake enough to protest, I dragged him and Floppy Dog out for a sunrise sail.  I don’t think either of them  was disappointed.  I certainly was not. 

The sunrise was spectacular.  The sea was calm, so we ventured  close to shore and hung a crab trap on an old pile.


 A shrimp boat was working its nets with its entourage of sea gulls and pelicans making a  halo around the tall riggings.

 Mother porpoise, with baby riding on her fin, was teaching baby to fish the wake of the shrimp boat.  What a feeling that baby must have had, snuggled against Mom’s body, shooting through the warm waves in that glorious light. 

An excited kayacker 
spotted the porpoises also .
Body, mind and spirit have, at long last, come together for me in this place.  I’m no longer disjointed, dysphased, disgruntled or discombobulated. Although I may still suffer some mild distemper from time to time, I haven’t gone rabid for months now. Sometimes I do regret not having the resources to be able to travel to the more exotic places .

More often, though, I realize that I have already found everything I’ve been looking for.  

May your winds be steady and your seas be calm. 


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


There's a promise in the journeys of the mind
You begin to believe that there are miracles you will find
And that someday you'll remember who you are
The seed within a bright and shining star_____  John Denver,  Wandering Soul

The Evil Little Man (ELM)   and I (with Floppy Dog and the four parrots) logged a few miles on the RV before first light that autumn morning.  When dawn arrived, it  looked like any ordinary sunrise on any ordinary day.  But it was the first time in 48 years I had seen the sunrise over  the  Texas town where I was born.   Memories I didn’t know I possessed erupted from a place inside me I didn’t know existed.   A seldom-known sense of comfort and peace settled on me like the red Texas dust after a sand storm. I thought that I could smell bluebonnets and honeysuckle, though they had ceased to bloom months before. 
It was all hauntingly familiar, but it was not “ home.”

We moved on, heading further south.   The PLAN was to plunk down in Galveston, and from there explore the Gulf—New Orleans, Mobile, and on to Orlando.
So much for The PLAN.
I’d never even heard of this obscure little coastal town in which we found ourselves on that Sunday afternoon last October.   I never planned to be here.  I didn’t even know where “here” was.  I did know that  the Indian summer sun had sent the thermometer soaring to 108.  The RV’s air conditioner was overworked and under achieved.  We’d blown out a tire on the boat trailer.    Our  parrots were screaming, the floppy dog was whining. ELM and I were hungry, frustrated and just plain tired. 

So when we rounded the bend and viewed the white beaches, frothy waves, proud old shrimp boats and shore birds of all descriptions, it seemed like a good place to take a break.  We found a lovely oak-shaded resort with its own marina and restaurant on the bay.  By the time we had slipped the boat and finished dinner, I was enthralled with the view.  But when we walked out on the dock and the wild dolphins came right into our boat slip, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The following morning we took the boat for a sail.  We had the entire 81 square-mile bay to ourselves.  The wind was steady and the sea was gentle.  There were butterflies in the middle of the bay.  The dolphins were all around us.  I felt as though we’d discovered a secret paradise.  

In the succeeding days, the bay has been quick to show us a few of her tricks—fog, gales, rain storms, sunsets and rainbows; and just as quick to share her bounty of fish and seafood  caught with our own hands.  The wild dolphins know our boat now and they always come to greet us.  We’ve made friends of seabirds and sailors, natives and winter Texans.  ELM claims  that this is the place he should have been born. I thought the novelty of the area would wear off and we’d soon be on the road again.   

Six months later, I still find myself waking before sunrise each morning, looking forward to the day and wondering what new gifts await us here in our version of Paradise. Where will we sail?  What will we see?  What will we discover?  Will there be shrimp or crab or oysters or a new viariety of fish?
 The people are friendly and fun.  The birds and wildlife never cease to entertain.  I find joy in every sunrise and serenity in every sunset.   Each day I become more comfortable, more at peace.  Each day is a gift of new friends, new experiences and always a surprise.   Will there be torrents and thunder storms, or rainbows and butterflies?   

I didn’t know what was missing.  All these years I’ve suspected that I was on the wrong path, going the wrong direction, but not knowing where to turn.   I felt out of phase and disconnected, as though Body, Mind and Spirit were somehow   misaligned.   But “sometimes on the way to your dream, you get lost and find a better one.” (. ..River @ Drifting Through Life)

 Against my “better” judgment, I can  feel myself putting down roots.  It’s risky business, getting attached to people and places and things.  Yet, it appears that this old stray dog has, at long last, found a porch to call her own.

So this is what ” home” feels like.