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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

Weekly Photo Find: Survivors in the Mistbelt Forest

My find this week takes us to the indigenous mistbelt forest patches of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. In this photo,  the huge base of a Lemonwood (Xymalos monospora) suggests the size of this impressive old tree. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Survivors in the Mistbelt Forest”

The grasshopper that shrieks in the night

Perhaps because Bladder Grasshoppers are active at night, they are heard rather than seen. The call of the male Bladder Grasshopper, something between a bleat, a shriek and a croak, is alarmingly loud. Continue reading “The grasshopper that shrieks in the night”

Weekly Photo Find: River frogs

Taken in spring last year, these Common River Frogs are making sure of a fecund spring. Common River Frogs are very variable in colour, so I hope that I have identified this pair correctly. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: River frogs”

Mannikins: Gregarious seed-eaters gracing the garden

Small flocks of mannikins are frequent garden visitors, arriving in a sudden flurry often accompanied by high-pitched chirping. These are very small birds weighing only 10 g (less than half an ounce). Continue reading “Mannikins: Gregarious seed-eaters gracing the garden”

Weekly photo find: Long-haired caterpillar

This little caterpillar has impressively long hair down the entire length of its body. It looks rather as if it has just left the hair salon. Continue reading “Weekly photo find: Long-haired caterpillar”

The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious

Among the first spring flowers are the delicately scented lilac-hued blossoms of the shrubby Puzzle bush. Continue reading “The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious”

Weekly Photo Find: Oleander Hawk-moth

A large and beautifully marked Oleander Hawk-moth, photographed on a wall in our garden two years ago. I assume that it laid the small green eggs visible on the wall below it. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Oleander Hawk-moth”

Gimme shelter: Juvenile Natal Green Snake finding overnight lodging

Only eventually did we notice a small, juvenile Natal Green Snake apparently trying to climb the smooth surface of a high window pane, when we were having coffee out on our back deck.  The small creature seemed more than a little agitated as it struggled to climb to the top of the window. Continue reading “Gimme shelter: Juvenile Natal Green Snake finding overnight lodging”

Weekly Photo Find: Colourfully toxic grasshopper

This week’s find is a photo of one of a range of colourful foam grasshoppers that occur in Africa. If threatened, foam grasshoppers can produce a toxic foam that can be fatal to even a large animal that is foolish enough to eat one. Continue reading “Weekly Photo Find: Colourfully toxic grasshopper”

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