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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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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The secretarybird and the rising sun

A secretarybird with wings outspread and crowned by a stylised rising sun, tops the South African national Coat of Arms. The light, energy and splendour of the sun signifying the rebirth of every day at sunrise, and the soaring flight and power of the secretarybird are intended to inspire confidence and evoke potency.

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Like a rainbow

Nature infuses our imaginations, our dreams, our poets, artists, folklore, religions and even our national symbols with its potency. Even when it seems to be banished to the periphery, nature actually undergirds us all.

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Wordless in the aftermath: KwaZulu-Natal July 2021

This week in the aftermath of the widespread looting and destruction across much of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng I have few words. Although a semblance of calm might seem to prevail and road delivery routes are opening up, suffering and bereavement, sadness and pain, loss and fear, anger and resentment remain.

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