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25: whiskers and beaks

Dear Friend,


Ten minutes ago, a large bat zipped across the apricot of sunrise sky and disappeared into an inky silhouette of date palm; I could say, ‘Ten minutes ago, I saw a bat,’ but I actually only saw the shape. Like I once saw a shark while visiting a beach… I only saw the tip of a shark’s fin as the fish swam parallel with an incoming wave, I had been swimming there earlier, but I did not meet the shark. Still, if someone asks me, ‘Have you ever seen a shark at the beach?’ I do think of that fin-tip and I’ll answer, ‘Not the whole thing.’


If I hadn’t been looking for it, I would have missed it. ‘It’ being ‘nature’ doing what it does, naturally. It is a gift to have time to pay attention, I realize that, and, believe me, I don’t take it for granted! Even though we’re spending a surprising amount of time ‘house and pet sitting’ while we are ‘on the road,’ we have still been surrounded by nature. Even in the suburbs, ‘wild’ critters show up, opossum, skunk, racoon, deer, bobcat, hare… they are there whether we see them or not. It would be silly to think that life only happens when we’re looking.


We’re currently cat-sitting at a home in the suburbs of Northern California.


No, not this kind of cat.

Rather, house cats.

They seem to enjoy photoshoots.


The other day, we visited The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary in Folsom California. This Zoo is a special place. Animals and birds are brought here to be cared for because they are not able to live in the wild. Throughout the Zoo there are opportunities for human visitors to learn more about the animals and birds that they are visiting. The motto: “Teaching Responsible Behavior Toward All Animals,” accompanies individual stories, shedding light on how some of these creatures came to be dependent on human help.


It underscores how we can’t possibly know all about someone without taking the time to learn.

When Frank and I first arrived at the Zoo, it was feeding time and we watched as several of the birds and animals were given little paper packages with their brunch (of quail) inside, nourishment for happy whiskers and beaks! The packaging keeps the food moist and clean so it doesn’t have to be scarfed or wasted.   

(If you know cats, you know that after lunch, sometimes they just feel like using a scratching post)!

This is a miniature Zebu basking in the sunshine.

The pleasant morning turned into a hot summer day, and a lot of the animals decided to rest in cool, shady spots within their enclosures. Though the lighting was tricky, Frank was able to get some beautiful photos.

This is a baby peacock, shaded by it's family... so cute!

The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary campus offers Zoo Camps for many age groups.

The day that we were there, the campers were given an opportunity to visit bee hives and ‘meet some drones.’

Frank and I stayed and listened to the lecture explaining hive structure, relationships between bees in the colonies and how critical bees are to our world. It looks like a great program! The Folsom Zoo Sanctuary is a wonderful place for people to learn about nature!

We’d love to hear how you’re doing, please write to us when you have some time.


Hugs and wishes for a happy week ahead!


Gently Be,

Leslie and Frank


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