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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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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Elephant rumbles

When I was a child growing up in Kwa-Zulu Natal, elephants had not yet been introduced into our provincial parks, and so apart from sighting elephants on two brief trips to Kruger National Park, it was only in the early 1990s on slightly more extended trips to Botswana that we spent more time observing elephants – usually from our vehicle but sometimes too as they walked by, or even into, our camping site.

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Just saying hi!

This week things have got a bit hectic so I am just saying hi and postponing the post on elephant communication until next week.

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Paying tribute to elephants

I have been thinking about elephants after last week’s post that mentioned the two pairs of elephant tusks framing the South African national Coat of Arms. In this national emblem elephants are seen to symbolise “wisdom, strength, moderation and eternity”, and by coincidence today is World Elephant Day.

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