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letting nature back in

nature and nurture in suburban spaces

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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.

Camdeboo National Park: Resilience amidst desolation in the Karoo

Camdeboo National Park is best known for Desolation Valley with its panoramic viewpoints where tall columns of volcanic rock tower up to 120 m high over the plains of Camdeboo below. The aridity of the region gave rise to the name Desolation Valley. It is even more desolate now in the current drought emergency. Continue reading “Camdeboo National Park: Resilience amidst desolation in the Karoo”

Wild Rescue Nature Reserve: Step out in a peaceful floral kingdom of wonders

At Wild Rescue Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Reserve, we had the pleasure of staying in a beautiful stone-walled thatched cottage built in the Cape style. We had the opportunity to walk along narrow trails through intriguing vegetation in the reserve, which is classified as a Critical Biodiversity Area. Because of its variety of contrasting soil types, all the major plant communities of the Agulhas coastal plain can be found in close proximity in the 165-hectare nature reserve. Continue reading “Wild Rescue Nature Reserve: Step out in a peaceful floral kingdom of wonders”

Following the coastal path at Onrus

The coastal path at the settlement of Onrus meanders through fynbos vegetation above the rocky shoreline. On our recent visit we enjoyed the sea air, wonderful views of the kelp-laced ocean swells and breakers, and walking among the diversity of plants and birdlife. Continue reading “Following the coastal path at Onrus”

Walking in the Gamkaberg

A morning walk following the Tierkloof Hiking Trail through a narrow gorge between towering sandstone cliffs was a highlight of our recent stay at Gamkaberg Nature Reserve in the Little Karoo region of the Western Province. Continue reading “Walking in the Gamkaberg”

Road Tripping

We are back from our trip to the Western Cape, travelling a distance of about 4000 km (2484 miles). Perhaps sharing photos taken from the car while travelling is a useful way of conveying something of the feel of the journey? Continue reading “Road Tripping”

Food for birds and wildlife: Planting for heat and drought

In a hot dry spring many birds and animals are struggling to survive even here in suburbia. However, gardens large and small can help wildlife survive in difficult circumstances, especially when gardens are planted with indigenous (native) plants that provide food and shelter. Continue reading “Food for birds and wildlife: Planting for heat and drought”

Well rounded: Monochrome curves in the garden

Curves, rounds and circles are numerous in nature and are reflected in these photos taken in our garden over a period of time. The monochrome serves to emphasise the geometry of the shapes. Continue reading “Well rounded: Monochrome curves in the garden”

Love doves (you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone)

Doves may be relatively common, usually their colours are subtle, but they should not be taken for granted. The understated beauty of doves is something to be celebrated. Continue reading “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

Long-nosed Tangle-veined Flies need to be accurate on the wing when hovering to line up the long proboscis to suck nectar from tubular flowers. These amazing flies are interesting to watch and tricky to photograph. Continue reading “Hovering with intent: Tangle-veined Flies and the art of nectaring”

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