A pair of double-banded sandgrouse join me in a message for 2022.
Posted by Carol
Sharing insights and celebrating the creatures and plants that inhabit and enrich suburban spaces, with images mostly from my own garden in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in South Africa and sometimes from further afield.
New Year, South African birds
January 7, 2022 at 9:18 am
Fabulous New Year shot. All good wishes to you and your husband.
LikeLiked by 1 person
January 7, 2022 at 8:14 pm
Thanks so much Margaret and to you and yours.
January 4, 2022 at 5:31 am
Happy New Year, Carol! May 2022 overflow with the blessings that 2021 was so skimpy on.
January 5, 2022 at 2:07 pm
Thanks – yes let’s hope so! Best wishes to you all too.
January 3, 2022 at 3:18 pm
All the best to you too, Carol
January 5, 2022 at 12:06 pm
Thanks Mariss. I gather there has been fairly decent recent rain in your region so I hope this is a good omen going forward.
January 5, 2022 at 1:46 pm
Yes, the land has turned green and our tank is full. What a wonderful way to start the year
January 5, 2022 at 2:11 pm
Fantastic – especially after such a long, long time.
January 3, 2022 at 4:56 am
Thank you so much for your beautiful graphic and greeting Carol. All good things to you – plenty of wild surprises, gorgeous light and inspiration to write. x
Thanks very much Nikki and best to you too as the New Year unfolds. I am feeling a bit energy-sapped currently so thanks for the good wishes for inspiration etc!
January 1, 2022 at 9:51 pm
Happy new year! I hope it is a good one for you and your family.
January 5, 2022 at 11:59 am
Thanks Adele and with very best New Year wishes to you too.
January 1, 2022 at 4:42 pm
Thanks, Carol, and all the best for you and yours in this new year.
January 5, 2022 at 11:58 am
January 1, 2022 at 9:22 am
Many thanks for your wonderful ‘blogs’ ( is that the right word?) . We wish you well in the year ahead.
January 1, 2022 at 2:10 pm
Hi John – thanks very much and I am delighted that you keep up with the blog and its reminders of your former home (we miss you!). Best New Year wishes to you too.
January 1, 2022 at 6:58 am
Wishing you, your husband and all your dear ones a safe, healthy and Happy New Year. What a beautiful image to start off 2022. I sincerely look forward to following your writing and images this year and beyond.
Best wishes always,
January 1, 2022 at 2:09 pm
Thank you so much Takami. I hope that you and your husband keep safe and healthy too. Times continue to be challenging and it is too soon to tell how Omicron will develop, but it is encouraging that there are some positive signs. Wishing you the very best, Carol
January 2, 2022 at 2:33 am
Thank you Carol. We are keeping fingers crossed that this new strain will not be too extreme and that things will start to improve🙏 I sincerely look forward to learning more about your beautiful country this year and beyond through your blog 🙂
January 5, 2022 at 12:03 pm
Hi again Takami – we too are keeping our fingers crossed that the new variant is indeed less severe. And thanks for your encouraging comments re my blog.
January 1, 2022 at 3:36 am
Richest blessings and love to you, dear Carol! xxx
January 1, 2022 at 1:49 pm
Thanks very much Christeen, and wishing you the same and many more fabulous sightings and engagements with nature throughout the year ahead.
January 1, 2022 at 12:11 am
I also appreciate the good wishes and would like to return them to you.
All the best,
January 1, 2022 at 1:52 pm
Thank you Tanja very much. I hope that your region gets some relief from the drought with no extreme weather events as the year unfolds.
January 3, 2022 at 9:52 pm
Thank you for the good wishes, Carol. Some of the mountain areas have received snow, so that is something to be grateful for. But the old year ended with a catastrophic fire near Boulder, where almost 1,000 homes burned down and people lost all their possessions. It’s tragic. 😢
January 5, 2022 at 2:06 pm
Terribly tragic that awful fire and the loss of all those homes. I am so sorry.
January 6, 2022 at 9:44 pm
Yes, it’s heartbreaking for all those involved.
January 7, 2022 at 7:53 pm
It is hard to imagine what it must be like to lose absolutely everything in an overwhelming fire like that. It is very sad and sobering.
December 31, 2021 at 10:57 pm
What a lovely pair of sandgrouses you have there! Thank you for the good wishes and may you have health and goodness in the year to come.
(Odd, how wishes for health seem to have appeared at the top of the wish list this year!) 🤔
January 1, 2022 at 1:46 pm
Thanks Gunta, and yes Covid has contributed to us reassessing our priorities with a renewed understanding of the preciousness of good health. Wishing you the very best too in your lovely spot with nature on your doorstep.
December 31, 2021 at 7:38 pm
I hope 2022 will bring health, happiness – and more of your fascinating blogs our way.
January 1, 2022 at 1:43 pm
Thanks Anne – perhaps the recent rains are auspicious and we can look forward to better and healthier times ahead. We can only hope so. With very best wishes for the New Year.
December 31, 2021 at 5:09 pm
Thank you for the good wishes, Carol, and for the past year of informative and beautifully photographed posts. Here’s to a happier ’22.
January 1, 2022 at 1:30 pm
Thanks for your good wishes and kind comment Eliza. I so enjoy seeing what you have in you garden and in the wider ‘neck of the woods’ around you, and I especially marvel at your cold winters!
Indeed here’s to a happier 2022. With best wishes for a Happy New Year to you and yours.
January 1, 2022 at 4:15 pm
Comments are closed.
-- Random quirkiness in the garden As I look out my window: Vervet monkeys at rest and play on a cool summer morning Letting nature show and tell Southern equinox after springtime September rains Highlighting some of our garden birds A road trip, Rory the Ridgeback and his recovery Masters of disguise: Praying mantis roundup Suburban wildlife in the autumn-winter garden Some old postcards depicting nature and the outdoors Cabbage-trees – a virtual and literal feast in the garden Following footpaths in the central Drakensberg African elephants, bark stripping, nutrition and trees The African baobab: Super tree with super fruit Subtropical depression: Catastrophic flooding in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape My camera and eye: Strange fascination Pets and war: Ernesto’s Sanctuary for Cats in Syria Take me to the river: Riverine roaming at Kruger National Park From tall giraffes to a ground-dwelling nightjar Summertime mountain flowers Scrutinized by buffalos at the Kruger National Park Abstract photos from Kruger National Park Three dwarf antelope: Steenbok, Sharpe’s grysbok and klipspringer Looking forward Zooming in: Kruger Park pics for Christmas Life in the mopane scrub and woodlands at Kruger National Park Companionable creatures at Kruger Park Home and away: From near to far A family of yellow mongooses The wild Honeysuckle-tree flowering abundantly Watching spiny flower mantids grow An unusually confiding tambourine dove Floral treats in the spring garden Black cuckooshrike – named for the unicoloured male, this is the female Logging on again First flowering of an Aloe ferox Elephant rumbles Just saying hi! Paying tribute to elephants The secretarybird and the rising sun Like a rainbow Wordless in the aftermath: KwaZulu-Natal July 2021 What may emerge from the ashes of destruction? Fungilorious: Four trees hosting fabulous fungi Mushrooms and toadstools in our garden Winter solstice birds in the garden Sombre greenbuls can be loud and splashy too Enchantment in a monochrome woodland More on our wild irises: The yellow and the forest wild irises Introducing three wild irises Meanwhile back in the garden: Images of early winter Journeying from freshwater pans to garden pond Going with the flow: Some southern African rivers and wetlands Looking out to sea: The shoreline, the estuaries and the coral reefs Restoring our planet: Showcasing South Africa’s biomes Here’s looking at you: Some special encounters with African wildlife Tiny spiny flower mantid nymphs hunting in autumn flowers Flower picks from the garden Seasons change: Reflections after the equinox Serendipity, scrutiny and surprises in the garden Butterflies of the Great Thirstland Befriending solitary bees Naturebackin went to Greece: Part 1 Sparti and Mystras Caught on camera: Birds in the suburbs Ring-necked doves, Namaqua doves and a lanner falcon on the hunt Singing cicadas seen at last Southern tree agama ambush hunting and eating ants Phoning home: Lockdown nature photos on my phone Lockdown walking in the woodland, or rather plantation Finding solace in trees and woodland On the eve of a New Year Remembering another solitary Christmas: Botswana, December 1999 Horsewood: Slender tree of the forest margins Encounters with flowers and their visitors Patterns in nature: Fractals Perceiving patterns at the pond Patterns in nature: Hailstones and their aftermath Patterns in nature: Symmetry in animals and flowers Patterns in nature: Spots and dots Patterns in nature: The efficiency of hexagons Making cold process soap at home Raising awareness of the endangered African penguin Tiny surprises: Curious creatures in the garden The kitchen garden: Brightening our lockdown horizons Spring in my step: Some of the joys of the season Spring flowers at the West Coast Springtime nesting: Black sparrowhawks beyond the bottom of our garden Calling from the rooftops: Egyptian geese in the suburbs A diminutive and dynamic presence: The African firefinch Lynx spiders: Tiny and strategic predators Ouhout: An adaptable and tenacious survivor Going grey: Moving to monochrome Botanical images: Inspired by vintage prints and cards Visitors galore! A garden birdbath during dry July Uh! Whaddya mean its Thursday already? The pigeonwood tree: Providing food, refuge and fun The simple art of nature: Connecting with grace For the birds: Forest and woodland habitats The elusive bushbuck: Surprising survivors in the suburbs Winter solstice: Pivoting towards the sun Shifting the focus when back in the now At the waterhole: Mkhuze Game Reserve’s KuMasinga Hide Home from home: Favourite campsites at the Central Kalahari Game Reserve Richtersveld redux: Reviving remoteness and the great out there Wheat, war, bread and biscotti Backyard curiosities 2: Bird’s Nest Fungi Backyard curiosities 1: Bubble-blowing flies Stuff to do during lockdown: Tips from our cats On the wings of hope A story book for children: The tale of Nougat the Kitten Salad in the cupboard: Sprouting lentils Learning from animals in these times: Cats and music in a world where love survives Finding resilience and fragility The beautiful Cape chestnut: Host to the citrus swallowtail butterfly Citrus swallowtail butterflies, a caterpillar and an agama too Suburban owls: African wood owl and spotted eagle-owl Fab beetle: Large, horned, colourful and unidentified Eagles in our neighbourhood: The crowned eagle Urban raptors: Long-crested eagle Flowers across the spectrum of the rainbow How the colourful koppie foam grasshopper sheds its skin Wild gardenia: At home in forests and gardens Likeable lizards: Striped skinks in the garden Reasons to be cheerful part 1: Ella the rescue cat The hopefulness of a baby bird Owed to a tree: For its beauty and bounty many thanks Transcendent suburban skies Camdeboo National Park: Resilience amidst desolation in the Karoo Wild Rescue Nature Reserve: Step out in a peaceful floral kingdom of wonders Following the coastal path at Onrus Walking in the Gamkaberg Road Tripping Food for birds and wildlife: Planting for heat and drought Well rounded: Monochrome curves in the garden Love doves (you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone) Hovering with intent: Tangle-veined Flies and the art of nectaring The intertidal zone: Pooled assets A shore thing: On the edge of changes Surprises and encouragements: Learning to see Sound and vision: The Purple-crested Turaco The time of the season: Guttural toads go a-courting An aloe patch in the garden Butterflies – Reasons to be cheerful A dry season: Just add water Mountain walking on a hot winter’s day The Tassel Berry tree: Bountiful in fruit and flower Winter in the garden: a selection of photos Woodpeckers foraging two-by-two Skeletons in the garden Pt 2: Paisley pattern leaves Skeletons in the garden Pt 1: Terracotta cicadas Nature’s bounty in the kitchen Winter Solstice in the South The generosity of the Forest Pink Hibiscus Watching butterflies emerging and getting ready to fly Caterpillars with wings: An eye witness account of Battling Glider butterflies after hatching Pelargoniums – wild and domesticated Damselflies: Fleet flyer, aquatic egg layer On being abstracted The blues is alright: Butterflies and flowers Sunrise, dawn and times of transition A feisty strategist: The Fork-tailed Drongo Wildflowers, war and wonder: Mementos of an English childhood Autumnal orange flowers Blood-red Acraea butterfly: A complete life cycle in one shrubby tree In the path of the storm: Cyclone Idai Rediscovering a sense of wonder: Seeing insects as tiny treasures Hadeda ibis: From wetlands to birdbaths Weekly Photo Find: Thoughtful vervet monkey Agapanthus: A true blue summer flowerer Weekly Photo Find: Primate watching Campsite visitors: Bushpigs and other animals Weekly Photo Find: Top ranking vervet monkey Animal interactions at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi wildlife park Weekly Photo Find: Juvenile Vervet Monkey in the Suburbs Weekly Photo Find: Wistful Monkey in the Garden Fishing spider catching tadpoles in the garden pond Weekly Photo Find: Vervet Monkey’s Midday Siesta Powder-puff tree: Subtropical swamp mysteries in the garden Weekly Photo Find: Vervet Monkey Portrait The cackling presence of the Green Wood-Hoopoe Weekly Photo Find: Nieu Bethesda’s Chocolate-box Kitten The Owl House: Helen Martins’ enigmatic creation Weekly Photo Find: The small town of Nieu Bethesda Ornately elegant engineer: Garden orb-weaving spider A New Year awaits Weekly Photo Find: Postcard from the edge of Victoria West Holiday cheerfulness: The sunshine colours of yellow Mistbelt grassland flowers in the summer time Weekly Photo Find: The main road out of Bray Weekly Photo Find: A small town in the Karoo Mistbelt Forest in close up Weekly Photo Find: Small town monument Mistbelt forests of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Weekly Photo Find: The sand of Port Nolloth The ongoing saga of the nesting Chorister Robin-chats Weekly Photo Find: The presence of nature in small towns Being there: The diversity of solitary bees Weekly Photo Find: African Dog Rose Wild and free canaries in the garden Weekly Photo Find: Woodland Freesia Making a no-dig flowerbed on the lawn Weekly Photo Find: Pink Pompom flower The courtship dance of the endangered Grey Crowned Crane Weekly Photo Find: Wild Iris Portrait There be dragonflies Weekly Photo Find: Golden crown of stamens The forest-dwelling Lemon Dove Weekly Photo Find: Forest Foraging Ladybirds: Not a bird but a beetle Weekly Photo Find: Web design The battle of the rival Tree Agamas Weekly Photo Find: Survivors in the Mistbelt Forest The grasshopper that shrieks in the night Weekly Photo Find: River frogs Mannikins: Gregarious seed-eaters gracing the garden Weekly photo find: Long-haired caterpillar The Puzzle Bush: Tough, pretty and nutritious Weekly Photo Find: Oleander Hawk-moth Gimme shelter: Juvenile Natal Green Snake finding overnight lodging Weekly Photo Find: Colourfully toxic grasshopper A charming visitor: The Cape Robin-Chat Weekly Photo Find: African Paper Wasp Sagewood: Spring flowers hosting many insects Weekly Photo Find: Buffalo encountering a tortoise Flower Mantis ambush hunting a bee Weekly Photo Find: Scrub Hare Total eclipse of the moon Weekly Photo Find: Baby Marico Flycatcher The beauty of leaves Weekly photo find: Springbok lamb with its mum Time out: a jaunt to a nearby game reserve Weekly Photo Find 6: Baby Ground Squirrel Drab busters: Winter flowers bearing brightness Weekly Photo Find: Camel thorn tree of the arid regions Porcupines have no defence against the quill trade Midwinter basking: Soaking up the sunshine Weekly Photo Find: Wild grasses protecting desert sands Southern Solstice: Celebrating with aloes Weekly Photo Find: Big sky landscape The suburban seaside Weekly Photo Find: Birds on the shoreline The iconic strelizia Weekly Photo Find: Red-headed Finch African Emerald Cuckoo feasts on hairy caterpillars New horizons Clarity in autumn: Insects and other discoveries Trunks playfully twisted In the pink: Flower mantids in the garden Liquid reflections Sunrise, sunset African Paradise Flycatcher brings a smile African Sundown/Sundowner Back to the garden I’d rather be outside Family story Paleolithic On garden pond: Homemade and wildlife friendly Feral foundlings The tale of our Banded Tilapia: Freshwater fish in our garden pond Sweet sunbird, sweet aloe Bird parents to the rescue: The day the baby sparrow fell from the nest Beloved cuddly companions Just pondering: Reflecting on our garden pond Bottle variations Silence from the radio Small and gregarious charmers: Cape White-eyes Weathered wood and woven wire Growth in these times A sluggish start to the New Year Something completely different – homage to holidays Shine on I saw it on the grapevine Village Weavers: Summertime when the living is busy But is it art? Getting acquainted with a leaf mantis Nina Meditating A hungry baby flycatcher and its hardworking mother Transforming from bud to flower From dormancy to delicate blue: ‘Scilla natalensis’ in the garden Experimental colour and light Ear today, gone tomorrow Peek performance Favourite garden birds: Southern Black Flycatcher Calla curves In the pink in the spring: River Crinum Sunbrushed Black-collared Barbets: Duets and warfare in the garden Reptile atop boulders One fine spring day: Thirty-minute photo shoot Unusually Pedestrian Live and let live gardening Looking out, looking in This season’s layered look Spring is bursting Another century, another country Waiting and watching White Paint Brush: A winter-flowering woodland favourite Wonderful whorls Birds do it – sunbathe that is Cornered! From mountains to gardens: Scarlet flowers that brighten winter drabness Diverting and delightful Swee Waxbills The dancing dove Transmuting earth, water, fire and air Flies as pollinators and bubble-blowers Feather texture revealed Purple-powered flowers Winter satisfaction Ground-foraging songbirds: There are thrushes at the bottom of the garden Waxwork Chinese chess pieces Fishpond Collage Aloes and gardens, Samangos and forests Arboreal Bridge Aloe from the other side Transitions we rely on Connecting with our bread-making heritage: An easy and quick bread recipe A fuchsia to depend on: A feast for the eyes and the birds Transient life of a drifter on the wing Focus The understorey: The tale of the White Starred Robin Precision A woodpecker at the window Inseparable friends Wild Dagga: Cheerfulness in early winter Ephemeral fungi Living heritage: The art of basketry Reflecting the sun Raptors, rat poisons and us Danger! Fire on the line Fleeting garden visitors: The Bush Blackcap and the Swee Waxbill The African dog rose Itchy feet Atmosphere For the birds: Grass going to seed in the autumn garden Surprise! The frog that blinked The Emperor (Moth) has new clothes The security of parental care Shady characters in the garden: Celebrating tree-dom Densely stacked: Provisioning for winter The forest-loving African Olive-Pigeon – a special garden visitor Yer Greens: Freshly picked An unexpected guest: A longhorned beetle in the spinach patch Dragonfly hawking Black Sparrowhawks in urban areas: Where to now? A wish for the vulnerable Take me to your Commodore: Garden butterflies from the African savannahs The road taken: Snail trail encounter Crocosmia aurea: Saffron-scented falling stars A good match: Pollinator and flower Black-headed Oriole: Golden bird of the African treetops Against the odds: Finding tree frogs in flowers Cats and the wildlife garden African shadow brocade Solitude in the suburbs Say can I have some of your purple berries? Waste not whatnots Wildlife gardeners, dogs and other animals Gracefulness of the maternal bond Fairy-tale fungi: The magic of mushrooms The ambience of first light Two summer-flowering lilies Message on a bottle Redeyed Doves, Turtle Doves, monogamy and sacrifice After winter, spring Making your windows more visible to flying birds Translucence Anticipating attracting a mate Festive decorations in the garden Simplicity Christmas cards and robins On the veranda Close to nature: The English countryside in three children’s books from the early 20th century It’s not this time of the year without … flowers and honeybees Magical refractions The snake that tamed me Tiny ambush hunter Do not disturb: Let parts of the garden grow itself Southern Boubou: A bushshrike that’s usually quite shy Frog’s eggs morphing to tadpoles Elusive garden visitor: Slender Mongoose Sunbird shine From winter dormancy to a spring spectacle: the Paintbrush Lily Suburban soundtrack: Call of the Hadeda Ibis Strings of raindrop pearls Brownhooded Kingfisher: The art of hunting by sitting still Nostalgia = Pansies Letting nature back in via a kitchen garden A shell and a pebble Bean on a quest Favourite Garden Birds: Laughing Doves September: Flower Portrait Gypsy clothes pegs The cuckoo has landed Caterpillar over the edge! Mirrored pairs of mating guttural toads Agamas in the garden Small circle of calm Birds just wanna have fun: Birds bathing, drinking and splashing about In the zone: Mackaya bella and its pollinators Vervet monkey mom snatches a second baby from its mother: Weekly photo challenge – Rare Monkey mom snatches a second baby: A photo essay on how the story unfolds in my suburban garden The perfect host: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 2 Favourite garden birds to cherish: Dark-capped Bulbul (aka Toppie) Celebrating seediness Following the silk road: Processionary caterpillars in our suburban garden: Part 1 The garden’s magic carpet: Fallen leaves In the zone: The wild pomegranate’s trumpets of orange (Burchellia bubaline) Why this blog?
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