|This is what awaited us when we went back onto the veranda.|
The air was thick with humidity. It sprinkled off and on. A breeze picked up as we began feeling moisture clinging to our skin. We ventured inside grudgingly, worrying more about our equipment getting wet than ourselves.
|They were as curious about us as we were them.|
Our daily watch for visitors has become a playful and enticing pursuit, one filled with excitement and anticipation to see who in Mother Nature’s wonderland will grace us with their presence.
|Each zebra’s stripe pattern was as unique as each human’s fingerprint.|
Once inside, we played Gin, with eyes peeled to the living room window every other moment in hopes of more visitors. The windows in the kitchen which could provide us with the best view are too high to see out, built to avoid rambunctious monkeys from eyeballing their potential “loot”.
|This guy stood under the carport for quite some time, watching over the other males.
As a result, there isn’t a perfect spot in the house to easily see outside to the area where the wildlife most often gathers. It’s comparable to watching a ballgame while standing atop of one’s car with binoculars. Not quite the same.
|Sharing the vegetation.|
Sitting on the main veranda provides the perfect view. Subsequently, we’ve been outside during daylight hours since arriving, a week ago today. Without a doubt, this will be our spot even when the summer heats kicks in, which as of yet hasn’t happened.
|This guy decided to check out the garden and braai.|
|“Nothing like a drink of fresh rainwater from the fire pit.”|
The moment we stepped outside onto the veranda, cards, scorecard, pen, and camera in hand, there they were, right in front of us, standing at the railing as if waiting for us, all six of them, all boys. A breath caught in my throat. All I could say was, “It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable.” Tom couldn’t wipe the smile off of his face.
|“Now, I’ll try this pool water. Nah, not so good. It kind of tastes like bleach.”|
In respect for their space, we stayed behind the railing on the veranda letting them wander about without fear. After all, this is their home. We’re the “visitors.” They stayed for over an hour content to munch on the grass and other vegetation, content to look at us, making eye contact that flipped my heart over in my chest.
|Several of them used the tree branches to scratch themselves.|
I used the high pitched voice, gently, lovingly and they responded, ears flicking back and forth, hooves tapping the ground playfully. Had I died and gone to Heaven? This place, these creatures, all of God’s making, here in front of us. Would these gentle creatures suddenly grow wings and take flight?
|Moments before this big boy peed, another boy had peed on this same spot. The big boy came over, sniffing the ground and peed on the same spot. This is similar behavior we’d observed in the past among our male dogs. Territorial marking.|
When they decided it was time to move on, the large male leader needed only to begin the hike up the dirt drive and they all followed suit. We weren’t sad to see them go. Certainly, they’ll be back. And, of course, we’ll be waiting for them.
|Nothing like a little brotherly love.|
|“Let’s go for the hug instead of the kiss. It’s more manly!”|