Monday, May 21, 2012

MADIKWE - A ZEBRA SKIRMISH

The edge has fallen off the summer heat. The early morning air is crisp, almost crunchy. The tips of noses and ears feel the prick of the icy air as we head off. The wind slices it’s way through the vehicle picking at anything loose enough to be whipped up.
This has been a very slow visit to the bush without much excitement other than a close encounter with a very disgruntled giant of the bush whose state of musth has him viewing every passer-by with a malcontented eye. Dare to move within close proximity and his trunk lifts menacingly, he unfurls his generous ears flapping them frantically back and forth and he launches his huge frame directly at you ensuring you beat a hasty retreat.


A new day in the bush always holds a sense of anticipation exacerbated by the perfect stillness as the sun gently lights the landscape. The morning holds much promise as our noisy vehicle makes its way through the dense bush. As we round a sharp corner on the rough track the much anticipated action is playing itself out.


A stallion herd of Zebras is revelling in the new day. They are totally oblivious to our presence. They rear up, kicking and biting and butting at each other. The earth is churned up beneath their flicking hooves and the dust rises around them.


It would seem that the longer they jostle and battle each other the intensity of the interaction accordingly increases and teeth are bared and hooves are flicked up dangerously reaching out. Bodies move agilely to avoid the danger only to be thrown forward and sideways again and again.



Then, before you know it, it is all over. The Zebras move off seemingly quite satisfied by their early morning antics.


The day ends with a magnificent bushveld storm that moves in quickly and relentlessly to remind all and sundry that the forces of nature are  ignored at your own peril.





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