The world was incredibly quiet except for the animal noises and a few people (zoo attendance drops significantly in January). I looked at the bright orange-pink flamingos against the brown and white backdrop of landscape and snow. I went to the children's area and petted the goats and sheep. The sheep's wool was all wet and matted and pretty gross, but kinda cool too.
The amphibian house was nice and warm, and I watched the giant tortisses for a long time. One was just sort of passed out in a pile of lettuce but the other one was lumbering around near the edge of the platform about four feet away from where I stood. I watched the snakes and thought about calling mom, telling her I was by the snakes (she's not a big fan).
There's a cool rainforest filled with colorful birds that I tried to capture on my cameraphone, but none of them stayed close when I got it out. It was like they were telling me not to try to store the memory digitally, but just live with it, and take it all in. I felt good in the warm, humid air.
I walked along and crossed a bridge with wide expanses of land on either side. One side had wolves and the other buffalo. Being outside, especially in a setting like that, always makes me feel so connected and spiritual; I'm reminded that I'm in this huge world and a part of something so diverse, and that God made it all. I was by myself, alone with my thoughts. Buffalo are so sad though. I can't look at them without thinking that we really shouldn't be here; we shouldn't have taken this land, it was a mistake. We should give it all back to them. Here they are, reduced to a quarter-acre of fenced in grass in the sedgwick county zoo, in a herd of seven or eight instead of a thousand like they had at one time.
I saw the new gorilla house; it's really great. I saw the new baby rhino that was born in November. I saw the giraffes and elephants. It was after 4:00 by then, so I figured I should go to the store and get back home because I've got stuff going on tonight. But it was a fulfilling afternoon and I feel incredibly peaceful now. I'll feel even better in a half hour or so when my toes finish thawing out. But anyway, that's why my apartment isn't clean, and my homework isn't done... I had to make some friends.