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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

Home and away: From near to far

We are about to go away on holiday – the first time since before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our destination is Kruger National Park, which we have not visited since as far back as the 1980s.

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A family of yellow mongooses

This week we move further afield and back in time as I recall a summer morning when we spent an hour or so watching a family of yellow mongooses on the Savuti plains in the south west of Botswana’s Chobe National Park.

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The wild Honeysuckle-tree flowering abundantly

Coming into flower now, after dropping its leaves in the very early spring, is the profusely flowering wild honeysuckle-tree. Flowering on bare stems with the new leaves just starting to sprout it puts on a lovely show.

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Watching spiny flower mantids grow

From March to July this year we were able to observe several spiny flower mantid nymphs in the basil bush in our herb garden. The basil bush was their home and hunting ground for four months as they developed towards adulthood.

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An unusually confiding tambourine dove

I don’t see tambourine doves in the garden as much as I used to and in any event they are shy and skittish, so the other day when I looked out of the window and saw a tambourine dove foraging on the ground I fetched my camera.

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Floral treats in the spring garden

Spring rains are falling in our region at least and we are being treated to spring flowers blooming, new leaves unfurling and vegetation generally greening up. So here is a quick share of some of the spring flowers gracing our garden.

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Black cuckooshrike – named for the unicoloured male, this is the female

Recently a bird I had not noticed in the garden before caught my eye. With all that barring on its underside could it be a cuckoo I wondered? It sat for a fair amount of time in a small tree not far from one of the birdbaths, quietly watching.

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Logging on again

I am back and logging on again after some absence from the blogosphere. My husband became ill very suddenly and had to be hospitalized.

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First flowering of an Aloe ferox

A post on the Ashburton Aloe Festival back in July 2017 (Aloes and gardens, samangos and forests) featured a small potted Aloe ferox (bitter aloe) that we bought at the festival. I said then I might post an update on its progress – so here it is as this winter it flowered for the first time.

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