Life is not always calm and peaceful for these dazzling photogenic animals. These two Cape Mountain Zebras are gracing the skyline in the Mountain Zebra National Park.
Sometimes there is more to the rough and tumble than meets the eye. These Burchell’s Zebra in the Addo Elephant National Park were pushing, shoving, biting and kicking each other until one gave up the fight and walked away.
One or both managed to nip the other.
More than once.
These rivalry fights were nothing to compare, however, with what this zebra must have experienced in the Mountain Zebra National Park. A closer look at the puncture marks on its buttocks and flank already suggest that it had a close encounter with a lion – and the large bite out of its neck tells us it had a fortunate escape.
If zebras could talk, this one would have an enthralling tale to tell!
NOTE: Click on the photographs if you wish to view a larger image.
… and very hot! The sun sucks the moisture from the ground and desiccates the grass. It beats down on the rocks, creating shimmers of heat waves above them. The bees and flies seek whatever water they can find.
Bees and flies seeking water.
There have been recent newspaper reports on the plight of vultures in South Africa suffering from dehydration in this drought – everything needs water to survive. A tiny leak in a pipe becomes a welcome source of hydration for Pied Starlings.
Even though we are at the height of summer, there is little in the way of green grass to be seen.
In places one can only wonder how the animals find enough food to sustain them.
Beautiful vistas of the Karoo show how yellow the grass is – what will be left for winter grazing if the rains do not come?
Mountain Zebra National Park
We have spent a few glorious days camping in the Mountain Zebra National Park. It is a peaceful wonderland with an abundance of interesting birds, animals and insects to see.
Cape Mountain Zebra
The swimming pool at the rest camp is a ‘life-saver’ though after a game drive during which the temperature has soared to 38°C.
It was the poet John Donne who first told us that no man is an island, implying that we cannot live entirely without contact with other people i.e. we do not thrive in isolation. Simon & Garfunkel sing the refrain, I am a rock / I am an island, claiming to be self-sufficient – for the time being anyway. To isolate ourselves is neither possible nor a good idea claims the philosopher, Karl Popper (1902-1994). According to him, we are social creatures to the inmost of our being.
True: so are many other animals in their own way, which is possibly why we enjoy scenes such as the ones below as they reflect the empathy we have for others and connect with our desire to be regarded as being ‘special’ to someone.
My wish for you all is a year filled with interesting and joyful times; that you will have time to observe the uniqueness of nature; make time to enjoy the company of friends and family; and that you will enjoy the fulfilment of a life well lived. Thank you for having joined me on my discoveries around my garden and elsewhere. Happy New Year!