It’s the first day of class for St. Lawrence today, so I’m getting ready and looking towards the future and so forth, but it’s also a great time to look back on the past. It’s been more than a year since I visited South Africa, and when it’s -15ºF on the walk to work, thinking about the Zulu Nyala game reserve can bring back some pleasant memories. It’s the details that stick with me: the fences made from whole sticks of wood, rather than boards, and that particular red color of the soil.
That perfect, after-dinner dusk moment: the deer (and the bugs) are out to play, and everything is quiet in the last un-Rayleigh-scattered rays of sunlight. Among the weathered fenceposts and glacier-carved rocks, deer are out to play. I’m interested by the idea that children play, and animals play, but the idea of “play” as something that adult humans do takes on a different meaning in the context of adult human culture. The concept of responsibility brings with it a parallel idea that to play is to behave irresponsibly, doesn’t it?
But don’t dwell on that. The sunset is enchanting and the deer are having fun. I will, too.
This zebra mare isn’t part of a stallion’s harem yet (she’s young), so she hangs out, grazing and scratching herself on cars, by the tents of Zulu Nyala. Though by no means domesticated, she was remarkably docile (and uninterested in the behavior of the humans going about their daily lives around her.)