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letting nature back in

at home and further afield

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naturebackin

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.

Southern equinox after springtime September rains

In our spring equinox week we have had rain, snow and temperatures falling across parts of the country. It has been a bit of a mixed blessing but new growth is very evident including in our garden and sunshine is back today.

Continue reading Southern equinox after springtime September rains

Highlighting some of our garden birds

In our 21 years living here we have identified over 70 species of birds visiting our garden. Now seems a good time to attempt an overview highlighting some our avian visitors, such as the chorister robin-chat (Cossypha dichroa) in the header photo.

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A road trip, Rory the Ridgeback and his recovery

We went on an impromptu trip to the Western Cape two weeks ago. While we were away our old Ridgeback, Rory, injured his back so the first part of our trip was marked by us worrying about Rory.

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Masters of disguise: Praying mantis roundup

As praying mantises are so fascinating, here is a roundup of the five species of praying mantises that I have been able to photograph in our garden.

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Suburban wildlife in the autumn-winter garden

On mini walking safaris around our suburban garden here in KwaZulu-Natal I often take my camera with me as invariably I find something worth a second look. Here are some pics of a few of our visitors taken during the months of autumn into winter

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Some old postcards depicting nature and the outdoors

South African picture postcards from the early 1900s offer an interesting glimpse into times past. Here are some postcard depictions of nature – be it scenic shots, in gardens, at the seaside or other outdoor activities and structures.

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Cabbage-trees – a virtual and literal feast in the garden

Distinctive cabbage-trees have succulent stems and large compound leaves that characteristically crowd at the end of branches. Endemic to Africa, Yemen and the Comoro Islands, due to their strong architectural form some species are cultivated as garden plants.

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Following footpaths in the central Drakensberg

Mountains, cliffs, forests, grasslands, flowers, clear streams and waterfalls, the Drakensberg has all that and more to delight and sometimes challenge a hiker.

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African elephants, bark stripping, nutrition and trees

Elephants are very dextrous when stripping bark and branches from trees, using trunk, tusks and their feet in the process – as shown in this series of photos and video.

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