Z…

Z is for Zebra. During our visits to Etosha National Park in Namibia we were lucky enough to see plenty of them around. On both the last two occasions the park had been experiencing good rainfall and there were little puddles of water everywhere (even in the middle of the road) where they’d drink from. We saw so many that we in fact became spoilt. During the first couple of days we stopped whenever we saw anything of interest and took heaps of photos but after a few days of seeing so many zebras (and no elephants yet), we didn’t stop to take any more photos of them, instead opting to keep going to try and see animals we hand’t yet seen.

There were some zebras on my sister and brother-in-law’s farm in the Kalahari at one stage but it’s  a very sandy area which meant that the zebras’ hooves (which are shaped like those of a horse) didn’t naturally wear down because the sand was so soft. They used to catch the zebras and cut their hooves to help them because if they didn’t the hooves would keep growing to the point where the animal wasn’t able to walk properly. It was quite an experience doing this for a wild animal.

Z, being the last letter, also signals the end of this challenge. Thanks to everyone who stopped by, I’ve really enjoyed interacting with all of you and reading your A to Z posts as well.

Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

This week’s photo challenge is to show what One Love means to us. The Urban Dictionary describes One Love as “the universal love and respect expressed by all people for all people, regardless of race, creed, or social status”. In the challenge Anne also says: “the universe is constantly whispering words of love: expressions of pure joy, respect, loyalty, and sacrifice for someone other than ourselves, and instructions on letting go and focusing on what is most important in this world”.

The natural world gives us so much every day, the very air that we breathe and beauty all around for us to look after, respect and love, without asking much in return. There are many elements that, together, form our world as a whole. Our natural environment, the animals and us humans who have the responsibility to care for and protect it. Love, respect and loyalty occur in our environment every day. I love the peacefulness of nature, and listening to its sounds. Birds calling, waves rolling in or animals moving around.

Sunrise is one of my favourite times of the day. It’s a time to be thankful for life, the promise of a new day and the privilege to experience it every day as we do.

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Sunrise over the mainland near Esperance, southern Western Australia, taken from Woody Island

Animals grazing at sunrise, at peace in and with their environment.

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Sunrise in the Kalahari, Namibia

What’s not to love and respect about mother nature when she shows all her colours? Out hiking, and it reminded me of a line I read somewhere: “Leave only your footprints behind”.

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Bluff Knoll, Stirling Ranges, southwest Australia

Love, respect and loyalty in the animal kingdom – galahs are birds that mate for life.

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Pink and grey Galahs, taken in Denmark, Western Australia

Mutual respect – I’ll help you and you help me.

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Zebras dozing in the midday sun in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Love and tenderness from adult to the young.

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Giraffe in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Caring and trust between humans and wildlife, two more necessary elements in looking after our environment.

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Feeding a young kangaroo at Donnelly River, southwest Australia

Trust, respect, loyalty, caring, responsibility and love all come together to form a bond with animals where no words are needed.

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Child No 3 and Belle sharing a quiet moment a couple of years ago in Namibia

As the day winds down it’s time again to be quiet and reflect on how much we have to be thankful for, and also on our duty to care for our world and all those that we share it with.

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Sunset at Sorrento beach, Perth, Western Australia