Saturday, April 30, 2011

The A - Z April Challenge: Z...and Reflective Weekend & Camera Critters

You may know by now that a very special corner of my heart is reserved for Africa alone. This challenge has allowed me to share with you just a few of the reasons I love it so.....
I'm going to miss my daily visit.
.
Z is for Zebra
.
The distinctive black and white stripes that characterize zebras come in patterns unique to each individual. Unlike their closest relatives, the horse and the ass, zebras have not been fully domesticated, though humans continue to try, capturing them for display in zoos all over the world.
. 
Plains Zebra

Africa is home to three species. The Plains or Burchell's Zebra, and the Grevy's Zebra are found in East Africa, while the Mountain Zebra is native to southern Africa. 
.
The Mountain and Grevy's Zebras are on the endangered list,
 as over time, their numbers have been drastically depleted by drought, poaching and competition from livestock. 
 On the other hand, the Plains Zebras shown here are so plentiful that permits are freely sold to hunt them. The Zebra skin you see in furniture and rugs generally comes from this species. Nonetheless, one subspecies, the Quagga, has already faced slaughter to the point of extinction and poaching for meat and hide is an ongoing threat to their numbers.
.
.
Although adjusted to semi-arid conditions, these grazers are in constant search of green pastures, joining in the Great Migration north come dry season. We frequently came across zebras at waterholes, especially in the morning and evening when they're most active.
  .

Zebras are highly social, living in groups comprised of a stallion with a number of females and their foals. Foals develop as strong a bond with their fathers as they do their mothers.

.
These family groups remain close over many years, mutually grooming and nibbling each other's necks as a form of bonding. Family members look out for each other, even adjusting the herd's pace to accommodate the old and the weak.
.
When one of their number is hurt, the group encircles the injured animal to keep it safe and will defend it to the death. The earth would lose much were these intelligent equids to be wiped out..
.
Grevy's Zebra
.
 For more A - Z posts, be sure to pop by Arlee Bird's site and see what others have done with the letter Z...
.
.
I'm linking this post to Weekend Reflections, hosted by James at Newton Daily Photo. Drop by for a visit...you'll be glad you did...

http://newtowndailyphoto.blogspot.com/
.
I'm also linking to Misty Dawns's Camera Critters, always a page worth checking out!
.
http://camera-critters.blogspot.com/

23 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Absolutely spectacular photos. Zebras are so beautiful. I am going to miss this morning visit to Africa as well. Your photography is stunning - you must submit a book somewhere!!!!!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What spectacular photos! When there's a bunch of zebras together, it's kind of psychedelic, man!

aka Penelope said...

Congratulations on completing you’re A-Z challenge in such an interesting way, Lynette. The Zebra is a perfect ending to the series. It is great to learn about the Zebra caring for its weakest … not always the case in the animal kingdom. Also fascinating (although the untrained eye might miss this) that each pattern is different, similar to human fingerprints. One day I hope we learn to live in harmony and stop stealing the beauty that such animals possess. I absolutely loved all your captures of the gorgeous creatures you discovered on your African journey!

jabblog said...

Zebras are so strikingly beautiful. How interesting that their family bond is so strong - humans could learn a lot from them:-)

Snap said...

Wonderful, wonderful! I love zebras. We have so much to learn from the animal kingdom (i sometimes who is the animal ...!!!). Happy Critter Day!

Kay L. Davies said...

I loved learning about the zebra's family ties, Lynette. How wonderful for you to have all these fabulous photos to accompany that special place Africa holds in your heart.
I especially like the ones of the zebras IN the watering-hole. Super!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Gary said...

Grand sequence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

foszae said...

it was actually a lovely, lovely alphabet. does make me want to dig up the other one you did and read that one again now

chubskulit said...

Beautiful shots.

Butterfly and Wasp, have a blessed weekend!

RNSANE said...

Zebras are so strikingly beautiful and it is nice that they bond together so closely as a unit.

You might like my poem about zebras at:
http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2011/04/alphabe-thursday-z-is-for-zebra-april-7.html#links

My Camera Critters is at:

http://rnsane.blogspot.com/2011/04/camera-critters-160-barcelona-cutie.html#links

adrielleroyale said...

Love the pictures and the education with them :) You take such lovely pictures, I love your posts :)

Ann said...

The black and white stripes are so sharp.

ladyfi said...

What wonderful gentle and loving creatures they are. Your photos are just fabulous.

'Tsuki said...

Precious set of picture indeed ! Those zebras refreshing are such a pretty subject of reflection... I specially enjoy the picture with the little one drinking water while it is complete in... Lovely !

One said...

This is the first time I'm here and am very impressed with your photos. Love those zebra shots! Am following your blog. :)

Deborah said...

Gosh, I've so enjoyed seeing all your photo's from A to Z. It's been SUCH a pleasure :o)

Katy Cameron said...

Oh I do so love the zebras, with their fab, funky stripes. Works amazingly well as camouflage, though you never think it when you see them on the open plains!

DeLi said...

oh wow, this is really a treat to my imagination and made me wish i am really there!

Anki said...

They are beautiful. Fine pictures.

Pat said...

Superb photos, as always, Lynette. I did not realize that there are three species of zebras, one of which is endangered. It's interesting to see such family groups that remain close over many years and how they care for one another.

reneejustturtleflight said...

You are very gifted in the art of photography and your pictures here make me feel as though I am there in the midst of the zebras without their knowing that I am. I found your site on Sherry Blue Sky's and am glad I did.
Renee

Ella said...

Your photos are amazing; I am so happy you chose this way to share them with us~ xXx

James said...

Simply amazing! Wonderful shots!

I reserved a room in a place in Southeast Utah called Mexican Hat. It's close to Monument Valley. I can't wait to see the area.