Okay, I must be honest…. I never get tired of seeing these creatures in my “back yard.” After almost 33 years here in Cambria, CA, driving north a few miles and catching site of these black and white beauties still amuses me. This particular morning, Monday, I had to drive up to San Simeon (where this is shot), to pick up my Booty Bootcamp Buddy, Bambi, (just had to get all that alliteration in there, hahahaha…) at 5:45 a.m. and saw a really large herd silhouetted against the rising sun. “I must come back after class with my camera!” I exclaimed.
Indeed there was enough time before my first early morning gig to do my best impression of a tourist and clattered through the weeds along the highway for the best vantage point. Unfortunately, there are a lot of power lines that kind of make this less than perfect but I did what I could. One just starts shooting, right? Little did I know how cool some of the photos (in my humble opinion) would be until I got them onto a screen larger than a panty liner. OH, how fun! These are my favorites.
Being terribly fond of patterns and texture, aside from the instantly recognizable stripes, her tail design is beautiful, I think. I also think she looks like she’s about to drop a foal any minute! How these exotic creatures came to even be here is due to the late William Randolph Hearst (Hearst Castle State Historic Monument is here) and his private zoo. After his passing in 1951, most of the animals were sent elsewhere. However, the zebra were set free and have thrived ever since. I’m not sure of their numbers but they have made their way onto several ranches for miles and miles around.
What with the heatwave we’ve been experiencing here along the central coast, it is almost easy to imagine driving through the Serengeti, well, until I looked to the left and saw the Pacific Ocean right there. Minor detail.
Obviously I’m not a professional photographer but my zoom was strong enough to at least let me get this much closer. What a lovely way to start the day! You can make your own little zebras (or horses or unicorns!) with some recycled cardboard from your cereal or cracker box, embroidery thread, a tiny hole punch, scissors, pens and 2 clothespins:
As you can see, I’m no Van Gogh when it comes to drawing, BUT, the basic shape of a lovely, primitive type horse is a large peanut shape for the body, with two slanting lines for the neck and kind of a bean/oval shape for the head. Triangles are fine ears. Draw these in pencil on the cardboard and cut out. With the pen, add eyes and whatever expression you feel this particular day. Hopefully it’s always happy. Or at least happy now that you’re doing something creative! Don’t fret about the legs yet, that will come!
My horse has obviously had too many snacks. Oh, well. Cut out your shape. Now, with a little hole punch or a heavy needle, punch a hole on her rump for the tail and several on her neck for her mane. Thread embroidery thread or any old string or yarn through the holes for her hairy parts. Wait ’til you get older, girls….never mind. If you really have no string, while you are drawing the initial body shape, add a big triangle for the tail and cut along with the rest of her. Use your imagination for the mane. 🙂
Now, clip on the clothespins for legs! Easy, huh? If you don’t have clothespins, cut a large-ish triangle of cardboard, one for the front legs and one for the rear legs. Cut about a fourth of the tip off. Make a small slit at the top and slip the body into it. Hope that makes sense… Using your markers, draw on Zebra stripes or spots, color to your heart’s content. OH, if you wanted a unicorn, draw the cone shape on her forehead before you cut her out! What will you name her?
The really fun part? Go play!