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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.

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”

The intertidal zone: Pooled assets

Receding waters at low tide reveal sea life in the lee of onshore reefs and in shallow rock pools. Snorkeling along reefs in even shallow water reveals a dazzling display, and rock pools too provide insights into subaquatic worlds within worlds. Continue reading “The intertidal zone: Pooled assets”

A shore thing: On the edge of changes

The power of the sea draws many of us to it, fascinated by the continual ebb and flow, the never-resting vitality of the waves, the life beneath the surface and on the shore, with many of us – besides those making their living from the sea – associating the beach with rest and recreation and taking time out from our usual routines.     Continue reading “A shore thing: On the edge of changes”

Surprises and encouragements: Learning to see

A process of discovery is available to us if we learn to see what we usually overlook. But what we discover depends more on our own personal filters than on what we think we are looking at. Continue reading “Surprises and encouragements: Learning to see”

Sound and vision: The Purple-crested Turaco

One of the most colourfully eye-catching birds with the most vibrant calls to visit our garden is the truly gorgeous Purple-crested Turaco. Continue reading “Sound and vision: The Purple-crested Turaco”

The time of the season: Guttural toads go a-courting

Guttural Toads and other frogs have been galvanised into springtime activity by sprinklings of early season rain. The males have been calling for mates culminating in pairs spawning in our pond. Continue reading “The time of the season: Guttural toads go a-courting”

An aloe patch in the garden

We planted a small patch of aloes in the garden a few years ago. We have enjoyed watching them grow and go on to flower and provide nectar for insects and birds. We have encouraged wild grasses and allowed other self-seeded plants to grow up around them. Continue reading “An aloe patch in the garden”

Butterflies – Reasons to be cheerful

Butterflies are widely appreciated for their beauty and their fleetness on the wing, as much as they are associated with transformation, hope, joy and love. Continue reading “Butterflies – Reasons to be cheerful”

A dry season: Just add water

The main seasons in our part of the world are only two: wet season and dry season. But prolonged drought over much of the country has erased that distinction into one long dry bleakness where rain of any significance is a memory or a hope. Continue reading “A dry season: Just add water”

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