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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

Patterns in nature: Hailstones and their aftermath

I did not plan this post. But yesterday our area was in the path of an enormous and ferocious storm that pelted everything it passed over with hailstones large and small, round and irregular. It came suddenly, without that distinctive warning smell of impending hail, and the hailstorm roared over us for about ten minutes, shattering and pulverising as it went.

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Patterns in nature: Symmetry in animals and flowers

Something is said to be symmetrical when the left and right halves match each other as in a mirror image on either side of a central line. Nature is replete with this kind of symmetry. Our tabby cat, Nina, in the photo above, shows off her wonderfully symmetrical structure and facial markings.

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Patterns in nature: Spots and dots

This has been – is being – a rough week, so this post is designed to be undemanding and easy on the eye. Continuing with the theme of patterns in nature, this week I feature spots and dots, shapes from nature that are appreciated and celebrated.  Such patterns are re-presented in many forms, such as in leopard skin prints and polka-dot fabrics, but here I stick with dots I spotted in their natural form.

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Patterns in nature: The efficiency of hexagons

Many patterns in nature are obvious, and others become apparent as one develops a habit of looking. In these patterns we see characteristics of repetition, symmetry, specific shapes and combinations of these aspects.

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Making cold process soap at home

By making your own soap at home, not only can you customise the soap that you use every day, but you also reduce packaging waste and eliminate the use of parabens, surfactants and other undesirable chemicals.

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Raising awareness of the endangered African penguin

The African Penguin is endemic to southern Africa.  The annual African Penguin Awareness Day, which this year took place on 10 October, celebrates this iconic bird and draws attention to the ongoing and rapid decline of this endangered species.

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Tiny surprises: Curious creatures in the garden

Small in size but big in interest, here is a selection of some of the surprising sightings I have photographed in our garden.

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The kitchen garden: Brightening our lockdown horizons

Our veggie patch took on greater significance during the stringent first lockdown level of the pandemic when even grocery shopping could be a fraught experience. At the very last local farmers’ market that took place just before the late-March lockdown commenced, we bought some winter veg seedlings to add to our vegetable garden.

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Spring in my step: Some of the joys of the season

It was spring equinox this week, inspiring this collection of spring sightings in the garden to bring a cheering lightness to lift our spirits.

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