"Golden Sunrise" is my 11″ x 14″ (27.94 x 35.56 cm) oil painting on canvas. Deer are very plentiful in Texas. I don't have any memorable stories about them, but I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit during my lifetime and have observed many animals in the wild. One of the things I have always thought would be a magnificent trip is a hot-air balloon ride over Kenya, Africa. My favorite wild animal is the giraffe, but I have only seen them in zoos. I have ridden on the back of a camel and I think this is my least favorite wild animal. Others I have seen in their natural habitat include muskrat, black bear, otter, porcupine, moose, and hippo, to name a few. 

When in West Africa, we hired a native to take us up the river to a pygmy village in the rain forest. It was so beautiful, but dangerous. The boat was a long, leaky rowboat with a motor that threatened to leave us stranded any minute. During the entire slow 2-hour trip, I remember seeing only one person. It was just like a picture out of National Geographic. A woman was washing clothes on the rocks at the river’s edge. She had a baby strapped onto her back with fabric. A hippo came quite close to the boat. It was huge. Since then, I have heard stories of them turning boats over and many people have lost their lives this way.

 I have been up close and personal with moose a few times in Alaska. The first winter I was there as a child, we lived in Fairbanks. My older brother was pulling me on a sled when a moose trotted up to us. He ran and I was too awe-stricken to move. As I sat there, she sniffed me, then ambled away down the street. I ran into the house, but evidently my brother did not tell of the episode. My parents did not believe me, that is not until they read the article in the newspaper the next day, ‘Moose gets lost in town’.