Thursday, March 29, 2018

East Texas Zoo & Gator Park: An Wonderful Menagerie

My idea of a great road trip is discovering what you might not have expected. So many billboards of zoos and gator farms that I've passed by, there is never enough time. I love being alone and having that freedom to go and explore just about anything; I've never been disappointed yet.

I finally decided to visit East Texas Botanical Gardens but got sidetracked. I noticed a sign on the highway for East Texas Zoo and Gator Park and I was on my way.

Out in the middle of nowhere is a small oasis with a huge collection of diverse animals. It's one of those places you just don't know what you're going to see.

The people were friendly, the cost was low and I was excited to explore a hidden gem. They have many gators and some of them quite large. I was able to listen to bullfrogs singing in the ponds near the gators, a sound I have really missed.

Do you know what a Cape Barren Goose is? I found out the hard way that they are quite aggressive. All the animals are in their own yard and you walk along tall fences-it really is a great little maize with something different around each bend. The Cape Barren Goose wasn't taking visitors-he threatened and attacked the fence at every change he got. I wasn't paying attention for a moment while photographing and it put it's head through the fence trying to nip at me. I survived.

I saw a sloth bear and baboons who were very curious of its presence. There were zebras and deer-all familiar animals but some I couldn't name. There were also lemurs and monkeys and a couple of very large tortoise that I believe acted as tour guides.

If you ever get to Grand Saline, ignore the groans of the family, "there's not enough time." Go check out the East Texas Zoo and Gator Park, it was quite an enjoyable experience-just beware of the goose.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Seeking Spring 2: In the Pink

Still a little early to catch the spring color. I plan on going down to Palestine for the Dogwood Festival this weekend but I never made it on this trip. I did get a few shots of the redbuds in bloom.

For the last week, I have been burned out on writing and photography. As spring gets closer I have more hope of inspiration but at the moment, I'm feeling a bit aimless.

I planned on getting out to Daingerfield and than it was Palestine but I ended up stopping in Grand Salene. As you can see, I'm still a bit distracted and unable to really write, wish me luck on the next post, enjoy the pix for now.

I'm excited about spring coming.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Seeking Spring 1: First Color

Out of the gray winter landscape, spring brings us fragrant fields of yellows, golds and blues. It's been a comparatively mild winter and yet I find myself eager for the fleeting sounds and colors of spring.

I drove out to East Texas today. I've learned that it's best to have at very least a target to go see. I have found myself too often wandering aimlessly with too many nondescript destinations in mind. Today I decided on Palestine but I never made it there.

This wasn't one of those planned days. I found several fields of yellow flowers and a few white but nothing too dramatic. It's probably a week or so early and I plan on getting out on a longer trip in mid April.

I drove out 205, not much to see, a few redbuds here and there but nothing too dramatic. I looked to Daingerfield, a favorite lake of mine but it was farther than I planned on going. I decided on Canton and all places nearby.

I found a great field that seemed like I was in the middle of a pristine prairie. The more I started shooting the more subjects I found. As I headed toward my final destination: East Texas Botanical Gardens, I discovered another out of the way place.

So many trips I've taken with the family and the idea is always get ther fast. I've driven past so many gator farms and small zoos, finally I discovered the East Texas zoo and Gator, I changed my destination.

Just before I got to my new destination I discovered some wonderful fields of yellows and a great stream to shoot. I plan on getting out in mid-April so stay tuned.

Next post the East Texas Zoo and Gator Farm. It was really worth the trip and made a day of aimless driving worthwhile. For now enjoy the first of spring.

Artistgordon - Find me on