Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)



Not everyone’s definition of “busy” will be the same. And when I tell you what has occupied a fairly large slice of my time, there will proably be more than a few scoffing, derisive splutters.

I’ve been drawing zebras.

Now, this may seem a no-brainer to those of you who have polo ponies in the back field. But for someone whose most recent acquaintance with a nag was 2 years ago, zebras present something of a challenge. Add to that the fact that the only real zebra I’ve ever seen was behind bars, poor thing.

So I had to resort to paging through some old magazines and books for pictures of a “horse in striped pyjamas.” I learned a few things about zebras. I already knew that getting too close to a wild one, however cute or funny it might look, is asking for trouble. But I didn’t know until recently that the wildlife migrations in southern Africa can’t start til the zebras do! Why? It seems Ol’ Stripey’s gut has evolved to digest the tough old grasses which inhibit the new growth which comes when the rains begin. So…once the zebra herds have chewed down the stalky stuff, the next wave of grazers can move in.

Something else I learned – zebras can “read” the individual stripes of their fellows. I had assumed (ignorant white woman, me) that they recognised each other by scent. Nope! They also use the black/white pattern differences in sorting out who’s who. Like fingerprints, the white* stripes are unique to each zebra.

But the toughest lesson was that I still can’t draw a horse!zebraMy coffee table has better legs!

*Yes, the animals’ skin is black with white stripes. 

Time to take Hoover for a walk…


Author: dinahmow

A New Zealander, currently living in tropical Queensland,Australia (with 2 cats and one Main Man).Old enough to remember George VI, white tennis balls and life-before-television.You want more? Read the blog!

12 thoughts on “STILL BUSY…

  1. The best kind of busy! And hey, looks pretty zebra-ish to me.


  2. Thanks, Denise, but if it wasn’t stripey would you say that? 🙂


  3. Most interesting facts! None of which I knew. And hey, you’re pretty good at drawing zebras, but you didn’t say why you were drawing them. I mean, of all the animals to draw, zebras don’t pop into my mind right away.


  4. katiejane…no, I didn’t, did I? Well, I’ve been messing about with fish and owls so…why not a zebra?


  5. Besides they are a perfect subject for a relief print. I think they have the most beautiful curves of all the horse-type creatures. Never attempted to draw one though. Nor do I think I’d do half as well as you have.


  6. robyn…got it in one! I am aiming for a relief print.
    And thankyou for the compliment. It’s copied, of course. And it’s in dire need of a farrier!


  7. Imagine an astigmatic zebra!


  8. marie…oh, yes!


  9. I like your zebra drawing.
    I recall reading that some animals, including giraffes, hippos, and zebras, all remind us that God has a sense of humor.
    These animals make me smile, although I think zebras are more beautiful than funny.


  10. Thanks for visiting my blog, your post about Zebras made me smile because I have struggled to draw them myself and they are very difficult. I thought horses were tough but Zebras are tough with stripes on.


  11. A great drawing of an underestimated animal…and we always think they are quite stupid!


  12. terra, acornmoon and ronell…thankyou. And big thankyou, Ronell, as you have probably seen more real zebras than all of us!


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