Monday, March 24, 2008

Dik-Dik, Dik-Dik

Hidden away in the underbrush of East Africa, a small creature pokes out its tiny rabbit-like nose and blinks its large, doe-y eyes.  Kirk’s dik-dik, the smallest (technically second smallest) of the antelope, is a mere foot tall and the bottom of the forest food chain.  These delicate, skittery creatures never visit ponds or streams for fear of predators, and so they only drink dew from leaves in the early morning hours.  Our guide said that the local people call them ‘dik-dik’ because they only appear in pairs; first one dik, then the other dik, bounding off to hide under bushes.  Like so many African animals, dik-diks mate for life and will suicide if their partner dies.  It’s tragic, but in a creature so small and vulnerable, it’s impossible for their small hearts to survive alone.  Nonetheless, these miniature deer are beautiful things to behold, and I was glad our safari-luck had held that day.


1/180 sec, f 6.3, ISO 100, 250 mm

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